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Toyota Plans to Expand Hybrid Offerings in China

Nikkei. Toyota Motor plans to gain a bigger share of the Chinese market for environmentally friendly cars by introducing more hybrid models to the market, according to Executive Vice President Yoshimi Inaba.

Speaking at the 2006 Beijing International Automotive Industry Exhibition (Auto China 2006), Inaba said Toyota wants to “expand the hybrid car lineup beyond the Prius.” Toyota began Chinese assembly of the Prius late last year at a joint venture factory with local automaker China FAW Group Corp.

“If we can procure parts locally, we can manufacture hybrid versions of mass-market cars cheaply,” Inaba said, hinting at the possibility of releasing hybrid models of mainstay sedans, such as the Corolla and the Camry, in China.

Toyota is displaying a total of 28 production and concept vehicles at the show—the largest Toyota/Lexus display ever at the Beijing event.

Toyota’s Auto China 2006 exhibit features the first display of the new Corolla outside Japan, as well as first-ever exhibit in China of the Lexus RX400h (known as the Harrier Hybrid in Japan). Toyota is also featuring its Fine-T fuel cell concept (earlier post).



wait, is Toyota actually SELLING any hybrids at all in China?

Rafael Seidl

Toyota has been assembling Prius hybrids in a JV with a local manufacturer in China since Dec 2005. As of Apr 2006, however, the company had sold less than 1000 vehicles locally due to high import tariffs on high-tech components, low fuel taxes and consumer expectations of future inflation.

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