0903 GMT December 14, 2019
According to bloomberg.com, Hiroji Onishi, Toyota’s head of China operations, said at a briefing at the Guangzhou auto show, “To respond comprehensively to the expanding demand for EVs in China, we are considering having our joint-venture partners provide us with EVs.”
“We will also continue to develop every aspect of what China defines as new-energy vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles.”
Selling electric vehicles in China will mark the return of Toyota into the battery-powered vehicles market after halting production of the RAV4 EV in 2014. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in September the company is a ‘little bit late’ in the EV segment, even as rival automakers rush into the segment before China’s cap-and-trade policy linked to zero- and low-emission vehicles kick in from 2019.
To qualify for points under the proposal, vehicles need to be made locally. A Toyota spokeswoman declined to comment on where the EV and its parts will be produced.
Japan’s biggest automaker said it will expand a feasibility study for selling its fuel-cell-powered Mirai sedan in China to include commercial vehicles like buses. The company will also introduce a pair of compact crossovers, the C-HR and IZOA, from the middle of next year, a key segment of the world’s biggest auto market where Toyota currently offers no models.
Daimler AG said at the Guangzhou motor show Friday that it will produce its first electric car in China in 2019. Volkswagen AG said at the event it will invest more than 10 billion euros ($12 billion) with its partners to develop a range of new-energy vehicles in the country.
Last week, Ford said it will invest five billion yuan ($754 million) with a Chinese partner, while Honda Motor Co. announced in September it would launch a China-specific EV in 2018.
The addition of a compact crossover should give Toyota a boost in China, where it trails Japanese peers Nissan Motor Co. and Honda even as sales at all three got help this year from troubles at Korean rival Hyundai Motor Co. Honda is challenging the leadership Nissan has held since 2009, partly on the success of the XR-V and Vezel small sport utility vehicles.