GUANGZHOU, CHINA – Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will jointly develop hybrid cars with two Chinese auto giants as it aims to boost sales of eco-friendly cars in the world’s biggest automobile market.
Toyota, the front-runner in the global hybrid vehicle market, plans to develop and manufacture the new hybrid cars on a local basis together with First Automobile Works Corp. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.
The announcement was made at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.
Toyota, manufacturer of the Prius hybrid, has joint ventures with First Automobile Works and Guangzhou Automobile Group. As the Japanese automaker has lagged behind its rivals in China, it is seeking to strengthen its collaboration with its partners.
The three will develop a hybrid control system at a research and development facility in Jiangsu province with an eye to starting production around 2015.
China, plagued by worsening air pollution, has said it will boost production and sales of new energy vehicles, such as electric cars and hybrid vehicles, to more than 5 million units by 2020.
Toyota Senior Managing Officer Hiroji Onishi said he hopes Toyota’s technology for hybrid vehicles will contribute to reducing emissions and improve the environment in China.