Toyota will reorganise its operations in Tianjin, China by improving and automating some processes on existing production lines, while also establishing a new line.

This is a part of its efforts to enhance competiveness and flexibility at its manufacturing plants around the globe.

“This reorganisation demonstrates Toyota’s commitment to plants that are competitive, rather than plants that simply aim to maximise production,” the automaker said.

The new line with annual capacity of around 100,000 units is planned to begin production of a new vehicle model by mid-2018. About JPY59bn will be spent on the line located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) and operated by Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor (TFTM), a joint venture established with China FAW Group (FAW).

The new line will take flexibility to a new level, Toyota claimed, allowing lengthening or shortening according to changes in vehicle model or volume [a trick used by BMW in Leipzig – ed]. In addition, the implementation of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) will help boost TFTM’s overall productivity.

Despite the addition of the new line, TFTM’s overall production capacity is projected to remain at roughly current levels, since an aging line will stop vehicle production by the end of 2017.

Toyota announced last April it would restructure its existing lines and build an additional line by the end of 2017 at GAC Toyota Motor (GTMC) in Guangzhou.