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Toyota plans to sell 1 million cars in China in 2010

5, 09. 2008

   In the rare spring torrential rain in China, the Beijing Motor Show opened on April 20, 2008 with about 2,100 domestic and foreign companies displaying their products. As carmakers world over are focusing their attention on the expanding Chinese market, the site of the motor show was held in a feverish atmosphere. Especially attracting the attention of the visitors were Japanese carmakers. A representative of FAW Toyota Motor, a joint venture between Toyota and China's First Motive Works, said at the show that at least 10 million cars would be sold in China 2010. Toyota is hoping to hold a market share of 10% in that year, he added. This indicated Toyota is expecting to sell 1 million cars in China in 2010, and the company showed its willingness to achieve that goal.

Motor Show is simultaneously a place for exhibition and sale

Toyota Corolla exhibited at Beijing Motor Show
Toyota Corolla exhibited at Beijing Motor Show

   Some critics say that China will become the world's largest auto producer in three to four years by surpassing that of the United States, and this is not a dream, said the official in charge of industry at the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, in reply to a question on the Chinese car market. Since the car sales in China "exploded" in 2002, the sales have been rising by two digits annually, he said. He went on to say that the sales in 2007 increased by 21.8% over the previous year to 8.8 million units and that the sales are expected to top the 10 million mark this year. China may surpass the United States in car production in the next several years to become the world's largest car producer.

   Japanese car producers attracted the most attention from the visitors to the show of all the displayers. Camera flashes rained on the ranking officials of such Japanese carmakers as Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, who were present at the show. Osamu Masuko, president of Mitsubishi Motors, speaking in English at the show, said that his company will make efforts to promote the sales of cars exported by his company and assembled in China by improving the sales network in the country. The popular movie star Jackie Chan could not arrive at the show in time to hear Masuko's address because of a flight delay. He arrived around 4 pm. The Mitsubishi Motors' booth at the show was immediately jam-packed by press reporters.

   The characteristic of the Beijing Motor Show was that the people across the country were all curious about who might buy the highest-priced car on display. American and European cars priced at astronomical figures were bought on the first day of the show. The motor show was like an exhibition for immediate sale.

   But it was different this year. At Toyota's booth, on sign for each of the cars displayed, the price the car would be sold for was written in conspicuously large letters beside the technical details. For a popular car, the price would be around 100,000 yuan to 150,000 yuan, or about the equivalent to the annual income of a middle class person in a city.

Some view that 1 million units might be achieved in 2008 or 2009

   Toyota is trying to achieve the sale of 1 million cars for the first thing to do. In 2008, Toyota's joint venture partners First Motive Work and Guangzhou Automobile produce 400,000 units and 200,000 units, respectively, for a total of 600,000 units. Toyota is trying to raise the production to about 800,000 units in 2009 and to the big 1 million mark in 2010. There is a strong view that Toyota can achieve the goal of the "sale of 1 million cars in 2010" earlier than planned, possibly in 2008 or 2009. Toyota's sales in 2007 shot up more than 60% over the previous year. Toyota is just about the only company that participated in the Beijing Motor Show and showed the prices on the signs explaining about its cars exhibited. This indicated the strong readiness of the company to push up the sale.

   So many cars were moving toward the site of the Beijing Motor Show, which appeared even bigger than the compound of the Makuhari Messe, to create a traffic jam from several kilometers away from the site. It took so much time to get to the show. The people of China are strongly interested in automobiles and they are used to traffic jam. They were willing to wait hours in the polluted air before they could get in the show.

   As entering the show floor, the displays about energy saving technology, car navigation to about traffic jams and other devices caught visitors' eyes. For the Chinese consumers who are showing interest in their domestic brands, Honda exhibited its concept car under the brand name of "Rinen" specially made for China.

   Japanese carmakers are set their target on the Chinese market by employing a popular movie actor, clearly showing the prices of their cars, introducing energy saving technology, creating special brand name for China and all other tactics they can think of.

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