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Toyota re-styles no-frills models to drive China fightback

Published on Apr 21, 2013 6:51 PM
 
People look at Toyota cars during the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai on April 21, 2013. Toyota Motor is giving its Vios and Yaris models a major makeover for China as part of the Japanese group's make-or-break move into the no-frills, entry-level segment of the world's biggest auto market. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Toyota Motor is giving its Vios and Yaris models a major makeover for China as part of the Japanese group's make-or-break move into the no-frills, entry-level segment of the world's biggest auto market.

Versions of the Vios and Yaris have done relatively well in the United States, Europe and Japan, "but we have not made sufficient progress with the car in China", Mr Hiroji Onishi, head of Toyota's China operations, told reporters during the Shanghai auto show on Sunday.

"We tried to give (the models) a proper 'daqi' stance typical of what Chinese consumers look for, and we improved fuel efficiency," he said, referring to a local phrase that Chinese use for a car's road presence.

The revamps are a key plank in Toyota's fightback strategy in a market where its sales were battered last year in the fallout from a row between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

 
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