Motor Corp. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd.’s Chinese joint venture will begin building Toyota’s Yaris/Vitz subcompact in mid-2008.
GuangzhouMotor Co. Ltd., which has an annual capacity of 200,000 units on two shifts, currently builds the midsize Camry sedan, which began production last May.
Toyota says it will invest ¥5.7 billion ($49 million) in the JV to finance the addition of 80,000-90,000 units annually of the Yaris/Vitz at the plant.
“Market needs in China are diversifying as the ‘motorization’ of the country continues, and, thus, calls for more-fuel-efficient, economical compact vehicles are on the rise,” Toyota says in a statement. “The decision to produce and market the Yaris in China is an effort to meet these customer needs.”
The Guangzhou Toyota JV was formed in September 2004 with a capital investment of RMB1.3 billion ($166 million).
Camry sales in China this year are set to surpass the 50,000-unit mark Toyota established by 5,000 units, says the auto maker, which reportedly has set a target of 150,000 Camry sales in China for 2007.