Toyota Motor Corp. has announced it started production of the new "Corolla" sedan in China on May 28, 2007. Production started at Plant No.3 built by Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (TFTM), a joint venture formed by Toyota and China FAW Group Corp. (FAW), in the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Zone, China.
The new plant's production capacity is 200,000 vehicles per year. Equipped with cutting-edge facilities, such as a painting line, which employs water-based paints, and a welding process, which adopts the Global New Body Line (GBL) system that uses less jigs compared to existing systems, the plant has reportedly combined high quality manufacturing with environmental consideration. Approximately 3.6 billion Chinese yuan (61.2 billion yen at 16 yen per yuan) was invested to build the plant, which has created close to 1,700 new jobs. The new Corolla will be marketed through about 260 TFTM dealers across China.
Since it started producing the "VIOS" compact sedan at Plant No.1 in October 2002, TFTM has produced a total of four models, namely the previous Corolla, "Crown" and "REIZ" ahead of the abovementioned new Corolla, its fifth production model. Following the Plant No.3's production start, TFTM's overall production capacity has risen to 420,000 vehicles per year.
Unlike the Japanese version based on the old "MC (medium compact) platform," the Chinese version new Corolla has adopted the "new MC platform," on which the "Auris" and "Blade" are based
Toyota's President Katsuaki Watanabe attended a line-off ceremony held at the plant and said, "The TFTM Plant No.3 reflects the steady development of the joint venture between FAW and Toyota. The new Corolla represents a higher level of product appeal and I hope that it will be well received by Chinese customers."