Toyota Motors: A Japanese Multinational Automaker in China




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Introduction

In April 2013, the Japan-based Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced that it would give its Vios and Yaris models a makeover specifically to target the no-frills entry-level segment in China. “We have not made sufficient progress with the car [Vios and Yaris] in China. We tried to give (the models) a proper “daqi” stance typical of what Chinese consumers look for, and we improved fuel efficiency,” said Hiroji Onishi, head of Toyota’s China operations. However, industry experts were still unsure whether Toyota had learnt a valuable lesson about the importance of localization.

“Gradually, Toyota is getting around to filling the gap in its low-cost small car line-up in China. But it’s still doubtful that the new car’s going to be a runaway success like GM’s Sail and Nissan’s Tiida,” said Masaki Taketani, director of research firm IHS Automotive .

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Toyota entered China in the early 1930s. While the company initially sold cars imported as completely built units, it began full-scale passenger car production in China by 2000. Over the years, Toyota entered into agreements with several Chinese automobile companies and established the Toyota brand in China. As of 2014, Toyota was one of the leading brands in the country.....

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