Toyota Motor and Chinese partner Guangzhou Automobile reportedly will invest 3.8 billion yuan ($US459 million) to build a new plant in China, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles.

The 50-50 joint venture Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co., established on Wednesday and capitalised at 1.3 billion yuan, will begin production of mid-size Camry sedans in mid-2006, Toyota said in a statement cited by CBS Marketwatch.

Toyota reportedly said it expects the venture to play an important role in its operations in the world’s third-largest vehicle market.

A Toyota spokeswoman told CBS Marketwatch that Toyota’s joint venture with its other partner, First Automobile Works (FAW) Group in Tianjin, already produces low-end Corolla and Vios models in China and plans to produce high-end Crown models starting in spring 2005.