(Yicai Global) July 31 -- Toyota Motor, which is rumored to have made significant job cuts in China, announced the intelligent and electrification transformation and upgrading of its research and development system in the country to cope with fierce competition.
Toyota will change the name of its largest R&D facility in China from Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing China to Intelligent ElectroMobility R&D Center by Toyota China, or IEM by Toyota, as of Aug. 1, the Japanese auto giant said in a statement today.
Toyota will place engineers from three local joint ventures, FAW-Toyota, GAC-Toyota and BYD Toyota EV Technology, on the IEM by Toyota-led development project, thus strengthening local development of all electrified vehicles, it said.
Last week, online rumors said GAC-Toyota, Toyota’s largest joint venture in China, would lay off more than 1,000 employees. The Guangzhou-based JV issued a statement on July 24, saying it must make strategic adjustments to deal with intense competition.
The newly-branded facility will also promote and accelerate local design and development of smart cockpits for a better user experience through interior space design and use of artificial intelligence, as well as autonomous driving systems and advanced safety features that better fit the actual situation in China, Toyota said today.
“By promoting local development with IEM by Toyota at its core, we’ll attempt to develop and provide competitive products that can satisfy Chinese customers at a fast pace,” said Tatsuro Ueda, Toyota’s China chief executive.
“Furthermore, we will look to share development results and lessons learned in China, not only within China, but also globally,” Ueda added.
Faced with competition from local electric vehicle manufacturers, Toyota’s sales fell in China for the first time in a decade last year, dipping 0.2 percent to 1.94 million units. In the first half of this year, the decline accelerated, falling 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 879,400.
Editor: Peter Thomas