Toyota to sell Chinese hybrid vehicles
Beijing - Leading car maker Toyota said on Saturday it plans to start producing vehicles with Chinese-made hybrid systems by 2015, after it finishes building a research centre in the country.
The energy-saving vehicles would be made and sold in China through Toyota's joint ventures with Guangzhou Automobile Group and FAW Group Corporation, the Japanese firm said in a statement.
The car maker usually exports its key components for hybrid vehicles from Japan.
Toyota is investing $689m in a research and development centre for "environmental technologies" in the eastern city of Changshu, near Shanghai.
Part of the centre opened in April, but construction of a test track, main administration and laboratory facilities is expected to be completed in 2013.
China, which overtook the United States to become the world's top car market in 2009, has become increasingly important for global players as demand in their domestic or export markets deteriorates.
Executives wanting to take advantage of the hype surrounding new energy vehicles are also looking to China, which wants to become a world leader in clean-energy vehicles and has pledged to invest more than $14bn by 2020.