GUANGZHOU, China (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. and China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. held a ceremony Monday to mark the establishment of a joint venture to manufacture and sell the midsize Camry sedan in China.

The venture, Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co., is capitalized at 1.3 billion yuan (about 17.3 billion yen) with the Chinese and Japanese automakers putting up equal capital.

With an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles, the venture is expected to begin output and sales in mid-2006, initially rolling out about 10,000 Camrys a year, Toyota officials said.

The Camry has sold well in North America, becoming the best-selling car in various model years.

The venture, located in the heart of China’s largest automobile market of Guangdong Province, can eventually raise output to 250,000 units a year, the officials said.

The ceremony was attended by Guangzhou Automobile President Lu Zhifeng, Toyota Executive Vice President Kosuke Shiramizu, Senior Managing Director Akio Toyoda and officials from the central and regional Chinese governments.

“It has been a longtime desire of Toyota to secure an automobile production base in the province of Guangdong,” Shiramizu told the ceremony. “By teaming up with our allied parts manufacturers, we would like to build up Toyota’s business foundation in Guangzhou in the coming years.”

The Chinese-made Camry will be equipped with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter AZ engines produced by Guangqi Toyota Engine Co., a joint venture set up in February.

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