Japan's largest vehicle maker, Toyota, and First Automobile Works of Changchun, Jilin province, announced that they had signed a deal to collaborate on the production of luxury sedans, mini-vehicles and sports utility vehicles in China. The joint venture would aim for production and sales of up to 400,000 vehicles a year by 2010.
The two partners have also agreed to cooperate in production of the Red Flag limousine, South China Morning Post said. Technology used in the Toyota Crown luxury model would replace technology currently supplied by Ford and Audi. The new model is expected to roll off the production line within four years and will be priced at about Yn600,000. The Red Flag, once the car of China's bureaucratic elite, is now sold mainly to individuals, with official purchases accounting for less than a third of total sales.