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Toyota plans $215 mln expansion at China plant

Toyota Motor Corp plans to invest 1.5 billion yuan ($214.6 million) to boost production capacity at a facility in north China by 50% to 150,000 vehicles a year, the company said on Tuesday.

The expansion at the plant in Tianjin Municipality is due to be completed by the end of 2009, the company said in a statement. The move would boost annual capacity of FAW Toyota, its venture with China’s FAW Group, to 470,000 units from 420,000 units, and Toyota’s overall capacity in China to roughly 690,000 units, a company spokeswoman said.

Toyota, which also makes cars in the southern city of Guangzhou, sold 499,000 vehicles in China last year, up 62% from a year earlier and beating its target of 480,000. China’s official Shanghai Securities News said in March that Toyota and FAW planned to invest 3.6 billion yuan to double the capacity of a facility in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun to 200,000 units, but the company has not confirmed the report. (Reuters)