Toyota (7203.T) will strengthen its development of electric vehicle technology in China, the automaker said on Monday, as it looks to catch up with increasingly tough domestic competition in the world’s largest auto market.
The move is the latest from the world’s top selling carmaker that shows a sharper pivot to electric vehicles. It recently detailed an ambitious new EV strategy that includes an overhaul of its supply chain and the development of long-range batteries.
China, once seen as an opportunity for potentially limitless growth for foreign automakers, is now regarded as a increasingly competitive market thanks to the rise of fast-moving local companies.
Toyota said on Monday it would accelerate powertrain development with suppliers Denso (6902.T) and Aisin (7259.T) as well as local design and development of “smart cockpits” that meet the needs of the Chinese market.
It said it would aim to significantly reduce manufacturing costs, including through developing a local supplier base, to become more competitive.
It will strengthen development of battery-powered vehicles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and fuel cell cars in China in order to achieve carbon neutrality through a “multi-pathway”-based approach, it said.