In the past, Toyota had tried to resist the urges of the Chinese government to establish new joint-venture brands. The company also had been highly skeptical of the viability of the electric vehicle. All doubts have been tossed over board. Toyota launched two new brands and two new EVs in China.
In September last year, Toyota’s designated Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said:
“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”
The needs of the Chinese society appear to be different. Toyota shows two new electric vehicles side-by-side at the Shanghai show.
One is made at Toyota’s joint venture with FAW. The Corolla-based EV will be sold under the new Ranz brand.
The other EV is made at Toyota’s joint venture with Guangzhou Auto. The Camry-based EV will be sold under the new brand of – well, you figure it out.
Despite generous subsidies, EVs remain largely unsalable in China. But if the Chinese government wants something, it gets it.