Toyota to invest $10 billion in US over five years

DETROIT, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor will spend $10 billion in U.S. capital investments over the next five years, matching the Japanese automaker's investments over the prior five years, North America chief executive Jim Lentz said on Monday.

The automaker has come under fire from President-elect Donald Trump for announcing in 2015 plans to shift production of its Corolla to Mexico from Canada. Lentz said in an interview at the Detroit auto show the decision is not a response to Trump but part of the automaker's business strategy to invest in the United States, where it has 10 plants in eight states.

Lentz said the planning for the new Mexico plant began about two years - if not earlier - before it was announced in 2015. These are long-term decisions, he said. Lentz said he has not spoken with Trump.

The $10 billion includes Toyota's new North American headquarters in Texas that is under construction and big improvements to its plants.

See how Toyota vehicles have evolved through the years:

History of Toyota, through the years
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History of Toyota, through the years
UNITED STATES - JULY 13: Toyota Land Cruiser Road Test - Nevada Centennial (Photo by Toby Palmieri/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 12: 1966 Toyota Corona 1900 Sports Sedan. Road tested by Motor Trend Technical Editor Bob McVay. 'Spirited, miserly, rugged, and comfortable, Corona boasts a host of no-cost extras; makes sense for American buyers.' (Photo by Darryl Norenberg/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 02: 1966 8th Annual International Motorama - Great Western Exhibit Center. Rare Toyota 2000GT with license plate reflecting a custom 2000GT roadsters's recent appearance in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. (Photo by Pat Brollier/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 06: 1968 Toyota Corolla - Dry Lake Bed - Female Model (Photo by Bob D'Olivo/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
4X4 Toyota Land cruiser Vehicles In The Desert Of Sin, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. (Photo By: MyLoupe/UIG Via Getty Images)
APR 16 1977; '77 Toyota Corona 4-Door Had Front Bench Seat; Toyota spokesman said the tradition bucket seats soon will return to the Corona Sedan models.; (Photo By Hugh Jane Jr./The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Claude Hovoet-Philippe de Leener-Freddy Fruhauf's Toyota Corolla's at La Source. Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours, Belgium, 26-27 July 1980. (Photo by: GP Library/UIG via Getty Images)
APR 14 1981, APR 17 1981; The Toyota diesel pickup, introduced last month offers a quick-start feature that requires only a six-second wait preheat the combustion chambers during a cold start. Base price for the new little truck is $7,218, plus options. Fuel mileage checked out at 27 mpg in stop-and-go driving and 38 on the open road.; (Photo By Bud Wells/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
JAPAN - MARCH 01: Toyota Factory In Nagoya, Japan In March, 1990 - Toyota Factory In Nagoya. (Photo by Kurita KAKU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
JAPAN - OCTOBER 10: Solar Cars Competition In Kobe, Japan On October 10, 1990 - The Toyota won the golden prize. (Photo by Kurita KAKU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - MAY 30: Winning ways: The third generation Camry's rounded looks and robust mechanicals have launched this midsizer on a sales roll. The well planned instrument panel offers large dials with clear graphics. The car is available with two engines - a 2.2 L four or 3 L V-6. In most driving; it's tough to tell the difference; Jim Kenzie says. (Photo by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
377387 02: Toyota Motor Co. Chairman Hiroshi Okuda sits inside Toyota's new 'Celsior' August 31, 2000 at a press viewing in Tokyo. The new Celsior offers the ample power performance required of top-class luxury car and supplements this with outstanding handling and driving stability. It has been designed for extreme dependability under a variety of conditions. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Liaison)
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga (Center-L) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Akio Toyoda (Center-R) shake hand during a photo session at the line-off ceremony of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 at Subaru's Gunma main plant in Ota-city, Gunma prefecture on March 16, 2012. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, and TMC first agreed on business collaboration in October 2005. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 09: 2012 Toyota Camrys are seen on a sales lot on November 9, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Toyota Motor Corp. issued a recall for about 550,000 vehicles worldwide after the company announced the vehicles being recalled may have a problem that affects steering. The auto maker announced the recall for vehicles that include certain models of the 2004 Avalon along with the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solar as well as the 2006 Highlander Hybrid version. Also being recalled are some Lexus models that include the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and the 2006 RX400h. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Lentz said Toyota plans to expand some of its U.S. plants over the next five years, but declined to say if that would boost jobs. Toyota, which currently employs 40,000 in the United States, added more than 5,000 U.S. jobs over the last five years, he said.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda will appear at the show later Monday to tout the company's new flagship Toyota Camry and tout its investment plans.

Lentz said "everyone" agrees with Trump's goals of boosting manufacturing and U.S. employment in part because "it helps us sell more cars... We are all in favor of what he is attempting to do," Lentz said. "We have to run our business as a global business. I have to make sure that we are competitive." (Reporting by David Shepardson and Norihiko Shirouzu in Detroit; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

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