Production of toyota 'highlander' begins in china

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces that GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (GTMC), a vehicle-production and sales joint venture between TMC and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou Automobile), held a line-off ceremony today for the "Highlander" SUV, produced on GTMC's new production line at its plant in Nansha District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Approximately 1,400 people attended the ceremony, including officials from the Guangdong provincial government and Guangzhou municipal government, Japanese government officials, Guangzhou Automobile Chairman Zhang Fangyou, TMC Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada and GTMC President Toru Kuzuhara.

At the ceremony, TMC Executive Vice President Uchiyamada said: "For a long time now we have positioned China as an important market and have been expanding our operations here with the tremendous support of everyone from the national and local governments. TMC is looking forward to continuing to work with our business partner Guangzhou Automobile in strengthening GTMC's foothold in the Chinese market and steadfastly increasing its operations, thereby enabling GTMC to provide even more products and services that will be welcomed by consumers in China."

The China-produced Highlander—with a 2009 sales target of 20,000 vehicles—will be priced between 248,800 yuan and 429,800 yuan. Sales of the vehicle begin today.

TMC and Guangzhou Automobile established GTMC in September 2004 as a production and sales base in Guangdong Province, China. For GTMC, production of the Highlander marks its third vehicle series, following the Camry, which went into production in May 2006, and the Yaris, which GTMC first produced in May 2008.

Outline of GTMC (as of May 25, 2009)

align=left>Company Name GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (GTMC)
Representatives Yuan Zhongrong, chairman Akira Sasaki, vice chairman (senior managing director, TMC) and Toru Kuzuhara, president
Production Lines Line No.1 Line No. 2
Site area 1,110,000m2 760,000m2
Start of operation May 2006 May 2009
Vehicles produced Camry, Yaris Highlander**1
Production capacity 200,000 units per year 160,000 units per year*2
*1. At start

*2. 40,000 units per year at start