JAPAN: Toyota to make more hybrid drivetrains nearer assembly plants
Underbody assembly on a Toyota Kyushu final line is seen in this 2007 file photo [Graeme Roberts/just-auto.com]
Toyota plans to introduce a complete manufacturing system for midsize hybrid vehicles made by its Kyushu subsidiary to meet growing consumer demand for the vehicle type, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Toyota Motor Kyushu is an integrated producer of some Lexus models and other large vehicles, mainly for export to North America, the paper said.
But the SAI and HS250h hybrids built there currently uses engines made and shipped from Toyota's Kamigo plant, the daily said.
The company also plans to implement an integrated production model for hybrids at a factory in the Tohoku region starting late next year, the daily added.
Nikkei said Toyota will invest around JPY1bn (US$11.7m) to retool an idle engine assembly line at Kyushu's Kanda plant, the paper said.
By the middle of 2012, the overhauled line will take over the assembly of 1.8- and 2.4-litre engines for hybrid cars, currently handled at the Kamigo facility, Nikkei said.
The capacity of the new line is expected to be around 150,000 engines a year, the paper noted.