(Adds details, company comment)
TOKYO, Sept 26 Toyota Motor Corp is
considering shifting production of South Korea-bound Camry autos
to the United States from Japan to help lower export costs of
the sedan, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday.
A historically strong yen, which is pressuring Japan's
export-oriented manufacturers, and a free trade agreement
between the U.S. and South Korea have led the automaker to mull
the move to reduce costs, the Nikkei said.
Toyota is considering producing its new Camry model, which
is scheduled to be launched in South Korea in 2012, at its
Kentucky factory, the newspaper said.
A Toyota spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Despite the soaring yen, which erodes Japanese exporters'
foreign earnings and makes their goods more expensive overseas,
Toyota has pledged to keep a minimum level of production at home
to protect Japanese manufacturing.
On Monday, the yen was trading around 76.40 to the
dollar, not far from its record high of 75.94 hit last month.
Toyota sold a little over 4,200 Camrys last year in South
Korea, making it one of the top-selling foreign cars in the
country, a stronghold of Hyundai Motor and Kia
(Reporting by James Topham and Kentaro Sugiyama in Tokyo,
Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul; Editing by Chris Gallagher)