Toyota is celebrating 50 years in China at the Beijing Motor Show this week; the first Toyota to go on sale in China was the Crown in 1964.
At the show, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara revealed Toyota’s bold plans to localise production of hybrid vehicles in China. In a speech to members of the press at the Toyota booth, Ihara spoke of the importance of employing green automotive technologies in China in the near-future. He said: “We strongly believe that environmental technologies are the main way for Toyota to contribute to China’s future.”
Localisation of hybrid production in China has already begun, as Ihara noted: “Last year, we started preparing for fully localised production of hybrid vehicles here – a first for Toyota outside Japan. We wanted to bring the benefits of hybrid vehicles―and Toyota’s environmental technologies―here by localising development and production. We have already established TMCAP, a manufacturer of hybrid transaxles and CVTs. Progress has been made on localized production of inverters. And we’ve set up battery production companies. All of these steps are challenging, and represent firsts for Toyota, but we are well on our way to producing hybrid vehicles here.”
Two Chinese-market models, which will be available with hybrid powertrains from early next year, were unveiled at the Beijing show; they were the mid-sized, C-segment Corolla , and the larger Levin model. All major hybrid components for both cars have been produced in China. Last year, 26,800 Toyota hybrid vehicles were sold in China, up 55 percent year-on-year.
Among the stand highlights at Beijing is the FCV Concept, first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2013. Powered by hydrogen, the model emits only water vapor into the atmosphere, and takes roughly 3 minutes to refuel. It has a range of up to 300 miles, and zero to 62mph takes around 10 seconds – top speed is 100mph. The car is due to go on sale in 2015.
Also on the stand is the pint-sized Camatte Concept. Designed with children and young drivers in mind, the Camatte is made up of interchangeable body panels that can be easily removed and installed, allowing for a range of different colour and design combinations.
You can find out more about our hybrid vehicle range on then designated section of the Toyota UK website.