TOKYO (AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. is in discussions over building a second plant for its joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., a Toyota spokesman said Wednesday.
Japan's No. 1 auto maker is also talking with its Chinese partner about possibly producing models other than the Camry sedan and Yaris compact at Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co., its 50/50 joint venture, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said.
Toyota, which became the world's largest automobile seller in the first quarter of 2007, has been ramping up production capacity in China, which surpassed Japan to become the world's second biggest vehicle market after the U.S. last year.
The company said last December it would manufacture 80,000 to 90,000 Yaris compacts a year at the joint venture from mid-2008.
Another joint venture, Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., started producing the Corolla model at its No. 3 plant, Toyota said last week.
The automaker is mulling the new plant and the production of other models as it targets increasing sales in China by 30 percent or more to over 400,000 vehicles this year.
Toyota has said it hopes to grab a 10 percent share of China's overall auto market by 2010, up from about 4 percent last year.
China, where auto sales last year rose 25 percent to 7.2 million vehicles, including trucks and buses, is becoming an important market for global car makers as demand for vehicles is expected to continue growing as the country's booming economy encourages consumption.
Some auto industry executives expect the Chinese auto market to grow to as large as 20 million vehicles annually by 2020.