It looks like the Toyota Corolla may be taking the same route as the Prius Prime. Toyota had recently announced that it would be expanding its R&D facility in China to not only handle internal battery evaluation and testing, it would also be used to test track for its soon-to-arrive EVs.
Back in 2010, TMEC was designed to produce cars locally in China solely for the Chinese market which resulted in locally made hybrids being present in the market. However, plug-in hybrids, under the Corolla Levin line, are slated to arrive in 2018.
In line with that, Toyota has already begun demonstration tests for fuel cell vehicles in China in order to complete the research prior to introducing electric vehicles into that market.
Toyota has said that despite the intensifying competition in that market, it is sticking to its plans to produce better cars through its expansion of TMEC’s R&D centre as well as to prove its technological development abilities.
Senior managing office and CEO of China, Mr. Hiroji Onishi, had affirmed this at the Guangzhou Motor Show, “Efforts are being directed toward the reinforcement of local R&D capability for the long term. We hope to train as many local engineers as possible, and to develop more cars that would satisfy the needs of our customers in China.”