Toyota will build Yaris compact in China from 2008

Automotive

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second-largest carmaker, said it will produce the Yaris compact car at its joint venture in Guangzhou, China, from mid-2008 to expand in the world's fastest-growing major car market.

Toyota plans to build between 80,000 and 90,000 Yaris cars a year in China, the company said on its Web Site. The Yaris, known as the Vitz in Japan, will be the second model after Camry that the automaker will make at Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co., a joint venture and sales company established with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Toyota is trying to win customers in China from rivals General Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

The automaker plans to increase the venture's capital by $49 million as it adds production of the Yaris, Toyota said. Separately, Toyota said it expects Guangzhou-made Camry sales to exceed its initial forecast of 50,000 vehicles by the end of the year by about 5,000 units. The venture started production in May and has an annual production capacity of about 200,000 vehicles. Shares of Toyota, which have gained 29% this year, were unchanged at ¥7,920 in Tokyo. (Bloomberg)

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