Toyota is reportedly developing another low-cost vehicle for emerging Asian automotive markets and is planning to launch it by 2012.
Japan’s Chunichi Shimbun newspaper says the vehicle will be based on the Vios and the Vitz models (Yaris sedan and hatch) with a starting price below one million yen ($12,800).
Toyota aims to cut the vehicle’s production costs by up to 40 percent by manufacturing many of its parts in China and Southeast Asia.
Toyota is already set to launch its entry-level Etios for the Indian market at the end of this year, after it was officially unveiled in January.
With three cut-price vehicles, Toyota will be aiming to strengthen its presence in growing international markets like Brazil and India, areas where it is currently trails global rival Volkswagen.
The news is also in line with Toyota’s plans to further reduce Japanese vehicle production by another 15 percent by 2016.
Toyota executive vice president Atsushi Niimi says he expects the strengthening yen will lead to production expansion in Brazil, China and the US in the coming years.
Toyota’s current Japanese annual production capacity is around 3.9 million vehicles, but the additional reductions are expected to cut domestic to below 2.7 million vehicles.