The backdrop to Toyota's plans are efforts by foreign and domestic
automakers to kick-start sales of hybrid cars in China, as the
world's largest auto market warms to the vehicles in its efforts to
cut pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.
Toyota, an industry leader in hybrid vehicles, already makes the
Prius and Camry hybrids in China, but has to import key parts, such
as hybrid systems, making it tough to generate volume due to high
In 2015, the Corolla and Levin hybrid sedans will carry
made-in-China batteries, hybrid transaxles and inverters, Executive
Vice President Yasumori Ihara, said at the Auto China car show in
Beijing on Sunday.
Ihara, who oversees Toyota's emerging markets business, also said
the world's largest carmaker aimed to double auto sales in China to
around 2 million vehicles a year, but gave no time frame for the
Toyota, playing catchup to rivals such as Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE,
General Motors <GM.N>, Hyundai and Nissan Motor Co. <7201.T> in
China, aims to become the third best-selling carmaker in China and
surpass Nissan in the future, he said.
To do so, Toyota will introduce 15 new models in the country by
end-2017, he said. China now accounts for about 10 percent of
Toyota's global sales.
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In 2013, Toyota sold 917,000 vehicles in China, up 9 percent from a
year earlier, recovering from a sales plunge after September 2012
due to a diplomatic row between Japan and China over a set of isles.
Its market share was at around 5 percent.
It sold around 20,400 hybrid vehicles in China in 2013, up from just
7,900 in 2012.
If Toyota hits its sales target of 1.1 million vehicles or more this
year, it would be meeting the objective of selling 1 million
vehicles a year in China four years later than initially planned.
Toyota runs joint ventures in China with China FAW Group Corp and
Guangzhou Automobile Group <601238.SS> <2238.HK>.
(Editing by Lee Chyen Yee and Clarence Fernandez)
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