Toyota’s surprise plan to build a U.
S. factory with Mazda solves several challenges for Japan’s biggest automaker but increases risk for a company mostly known for being careful.
On the upside, the joint venture gets Toyota 150,000 Corollas a year with a relatively modest initial investment of $800 million. And it frees up a plant under construction in central Mexico to build the capacity-constrained Tacoma pickup rather than the Corolla as first planned.
It may even buy some good will with President Donald Trump, who has criticized Toyota’s expansion in Mexico and just last week implored Japanese automakers to build more cars in the U.S. during a trip to Asia.