Toyota to improve quality for China market

Updated: 2010-07-15 15:01
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CHANGCHUN - Japan's largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp, said Wednesday that improving product quality would be on top of its agenda for its China business as it seeks more market penetration in the world's largest auto market.

The company said it would constantly stress quality in all of its plants in China and pay more attention to feedback from consumers in order to further improve product quality.

"We have set up a Global Quality Special Committee that aims to improve product quality so that consumers can use our products with fewer worries," Etsuo Hattori, China representative of Toyota Motor, said at a press conference during an auto exhibition being held in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin province.

The 7th China Changchun International Automobile Fair, held July 15-22, is displaying 927 cars from more than 100 automotive manufacturers.

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The call for increased quality by the company came when Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co Ltd chief spokesman Liu Peng said the company was confident it could properly handle labor disputes which are increasingly being heard as Chinese workers become more vocal about their interests.

"In the long term, Toyota will also build a platform for better communications between management and employees," Liu said.

Toyota said it has always viewed China as one of its most important markets, as two of its joint ventures in China both reported a surge in sales during the first half of the year.

FAW Toyota Motor first-half sales jumped 44 percent year on year to about 240,000 units. The company is aiming for 500,000 units for the full year, while Toyota's other joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group, also known as Guangqi Toyota, soared 68 percent to more than 130,000 units during the same period.

Etsuo Hattori said Toyota also plans to further expand its business in northeast China as a jointly invested new plant is expected to be put into operation during the first half of 2012.

Chinese auto sales rose 47.67 percent year on year to 9.02 million units in the first half of the year, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.