Toyota to set up Myanmar plant to assemble Hilux trucks

Toyota Motors Corp company logo is pictured on a Hilux pickup at its dealer Toyota Bicutan in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines June 16, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it would launch a plant in Myanmar to manufacture Hilux pick-up trucks from 2021 as the Japanese automaker plans to locally assemble vehicles for the emerging nation where demand for cars has been soaring.

The newly built plant in Thilawa Special Economic Zone in the suburbs of Yangon will produce about 2,500 vehicles each year using the semi knock-down method, Toyota said in a statement.

In tapping Myanmar for localized vehicle assembly, Toyota joins domestic rival Nissan Motor Co, which began output in the Asian country in 2017.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips