Dow Jones reported that Toyota Motor will soon launch its plug-in hybrid vehicle in China as a test. A new model for the country's small-sized, low-priced car segment by 2015 will also be available, according to company executives.
At the recent Beijing Auto Show, Toyota officials said that these plans are intended to regain customer trust after millions of cars were recalled worldwide over safety concerns and defects.
The recall covered more than 75,500 RAV4 SUVs in China. The world's largest auto market, China, is considered to be a growth region for Toyota's sales.
In China last year, Toyota sold 709,000 vehicles, up 21% and is targeting a 13% growth to 800,000 units this year. First-quarter sales increased by 40% from a year earlier to 178,200.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's executive vice president, said that the company aims to introduce its plug-in hybrid cars on a trial basis to the Chinese market as soon as possible. Masahiro Kato, president of Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., said that the company is thinking about a new, small, low-priced car for the Chinese market.
He said that he wishes to offer it to the market in five years. Last week, Toyota Motor said that it would start production at a new Chinese factory in the first half of 2012.
The site is where the third factory operated by Toyota's local joint venture with FAW Group will be situated. Initially, the 3.8 billion yuan ($557 mln) new plant will originally produce the Corolla model at 100,000 units a year. Toyota currently has total annual capacity of 800,000 units in China.