Toyota will sell GAC Toyota ix4 in China in partnership with GAC Motor
Japanese automobile giant Toyota will sell Toyota ix4 in partnership with its Chinese partner GAC Motor. The move has surprised automobile industry analysts as Toyota will get quick access to Chinese market and GAC Motor will be producing the electric vehicle in China, to be sold in Toyota dealerships. Toyota doesn’t want to miss out the opportunity presented by the Chinese EV market and the company will also skip stringent Chinese regulations for the sector by leaving the manufacturing to its Chinese partner.
An exclusive report published by Reuters cited two Toyota executives familiar with the developments. GAC Toyota ix4 would be in Chinese dealerships by the end of the year. Toyota iX4 will be based on GAC’s Trumpchi GS4 SUV. Chinese government has been promoting electric vehicles with a mix of strict policy and subsidies and the government’s efforts have been successful. China accounts for nearly 50% of all the electric vehicles sold globally (as per the latest quarter data).
Automobile companies showcased their future vehicles and concepts at major automobile show in China last month. In order to get quick access to fast growing Chinese EV market, automobile companies have been forging new alliances with Chinese automobile companies. Recently, Ford Motor Company signed up an agreement to develop and sell electric vehicles with Zotye Automobile Co. for Chinese market. Ford is waiting for regulatory approval for its joint venture. The company aims to sell electric vehicles made in China under its China-only brand.
Toyota has strong quality controls in place and it will be seen how the company manages to deal with GAC Motor regarding its stringent requirements for quality components. Automobile experts in China consider GAC Motor vehicles better than other Chinese companies in terms of quality. Toyota entered a partnership with GAC Motor in 2004 but the company was selling Toyota cars for Chinese-only market. Toyota executives added that the current events with take Toyota’s partnership with GAC Motor to the next level.
Toyota plans to launch its all-electric vehicle by 2020 and the partnership with GAC Motor will allow the company to meet Chinese government’s condition of selling at least 10 percent of its cars under EV segment by year 2019.
The Reuters report further informed, “At the Beijing auto show last month, Toyota unveiled plug-in electric hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin, due to go on sale in 2019. The company is also developing an all-electric battery car of its own, which the company has said should hit the market in 2020.”
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