How the Japanese car industry is reinventing itself
Japanese carmakers have launched a new, smaller-capacity, costlier model of the company they bought decades ago, but it is facing challenges from rival firms that are already on the verge of a price war with them.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Japanese carmaker Toyota is considering a plan to build a new plant to produce its Lexus SUVs in China and will also invest heavily in the development of new technology, including its own self-driving cars.
Toyota’s plan for a new Lexus plant in the South China Sea was first reported by Reuters last year, but details of the plans have been sparse so far.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ahead of the new plant, Toyota said it would spend $6 billion to build its first SUV, the Kia Soul, a car that has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers (2,300 miles).
It is also considering building a second SUV, a larger SUV, and a new SUV.
A new model of Toyota’s popular Prius hybrid SUV is expected to enter production next year.
Toyot’s plan to develop self-balancing technology in its Prius will also face stiff competition from a rival, the German carmaker Mercedes-Benz.
The automaker plans to introduce a new hybrid vehicle at the end of 2019, but only a few of its cars are being built, including a 2018 model that has been discontinued.
Mercedes-Benz’s hybrid SUV, called the E-Class, has been available since the late 1990s, but has been plagued by reliability issues and some customers have complained of poor acceleration.
The new Mercedes-F-Pace, which will be the first car with a fully self-parking feature, has had a difficult road to the market, with its launch delayed because of the global financial crisis and an expensive recall of the car.
Merkel has invested heavily in developing autonomous driving technology and has said that its cars will be able to navigate more roads and get through more traffic.
Merck’s self-bouncing, fully self driving technology is also being developed for use in the Mercedes-Honda compact crossover, which has been on sale since 2017.
Merkels-Benz said in December that it planned to build more than 200 SUVs by 2025.
Its new Mercedes SUV will be one of the first with self-blinking headlights.
Merkle is also planning to introduce an electric sedan in 2019, though details are scant at this time.