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Toyota plans new models for China
( 2003-08-21 07:24) (China Daily)

Toyota Motor Corp, Japan's No 1 automaker, and its existing Chinese partner First Automotive Works Corp (FAW), plan to invest around 3 billion yuan (US$360 million) to produce four new models at their local joint ventures (JVs).

A Toyota sedan rolls out of the production line in Tianjin. [newsphoto.com.cn]

The new models, to be produced within two years, will be the Crown, Corolla, Land Cruiser and Land Cruiser Prado, according to an agreement clinched in March between the two companies.

"However, no detail investment into each new model project can be released now," an official from Toyota's China office in Beijing said Wednesday.

Her comment was in response to domestic reports that the Japanese company will sink an extra US$311 million into Tianjin FAW Toyota, its JV with FAW which based in North China's Tianjin Municipality.

The venture, which now produces the Vios, Toyota's first Chinese-made passenger car, will introduce Corolla and Crown sedans in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Tianjin FAW Toyota plans to make 50,000 Vios this year.

The JV is building a new 50,000-unit plant for the production of the Crowns.

The Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle will be produced later this year at a JV in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin Province, which is the home of FAW's headquarters.

The Prado will be introduced next month at a JV in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Last August, Toyota formed a strategic alliance with FAW to produced 300,000 to 400,000 vehicles in China annually by 2010.

Toyota underpinned FAW to acquire its two Chinese JV partners in Tianjin and Sichuan early last year.

The Japanese automaker aims to control 10 per cent of China's total vehicle market and 20 per cent of the passenger car market by 2010.

Toyota is in final negotiations with Guangzhou Automobile Group, a smaller Chinese carmaker in southern Guangdong Province, to form a JV as its latest effort to achieve its goal in China, the world's fastest-growing major vehicle market.

"But no details for the expected joint venture are available now,'' the official said.

The venture will produce Toyota's Camry sedans.

Toyota's vehicle sales in China are expected to reach 100,000 units this year, including those locally produced and imported, Etsuo Hattori, chief representative of the company's China office, said earlier this year.

At present, China's car market is mainly controlled by European and US automakers, such as Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors.

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