Toyota says that it will launch a pair of brands aimed specifically at Chinese buyers beginning next year in a bid to boost its presence in the world's largest new car market.
Few details about the two brands have been announced, but the move follows several other automakers including Nissan, Honda and General Motors, all of which currently offer China-only models.
It's possible that ¬†the cars developed for the Chinese market could be sold in other emerging new car markets like India, Africa or South America, although they would likely be¬†rebadged¬†as Toyotas.¬†
The two China-only brands will be introduced in conjunction with Toyota's Chinese market partners,¬†FAW¬†Group and Guangzhou Automobile Group. In accordance with Chinese regulations, Toyota builds and retails vehicles in China with a domestic market partner.
Toyota - like other Japanese brands - has faced significant backlash from consumers over the last few months as a result of a territorial dispute between Japan and China. However, the president of Toyota's joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group says that sales are "recovering steadily and will return to normal in the not-too-distant future."¬†