Toy­ota to launch China-made Corolla in 2015

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp plans to make and sell hy­brid ver­sions of its Corolla and Levin sedans in China next year, fit­ting them with lo­cally-made com­po­nents, in its first bid to en­tirely man­u­fac­ture gas-elec­tric hy­brids out­side Ja­pan.

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 im­port tar­iffs.

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 Chi­nacar 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 tar­get.

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