Toyota is to start building its Yaris subcompact in China. Toyota Motor Corporation said that Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co (GTMC), its joint vehicle production and sales company joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group established in 2004, is scheduled to begin production of the Yaris (known as the Vitz in Japan) in mid-2008.

The Yaris, whose annual production volume is expected to be approximately 80,000-90,000 units, will be the second vehicle model line produced by GTMC, following the Camry which went into production last May.

In line with its planned production of the Yaris, GTMC is set to increase its capital by $US49m (about JPY5.7bn).

“Market needs in China are diversifying as the ‘motorization’ of the country continues, and, thus, calls for more-fuel-efficient, economical compact vehicles are on the rise. The decision to produce and market the Yaris in China is an effort to meet these customer needs,” TMC said in a statement.

Toyota added that the GTMC-produced Camry exceeded its initial sales target of 50,000 units by the end of 2006 by about 5,000 units.