Tokyo, Japan – Toyota Motor Corporation has commenced production of the Highlander SUV in China for the domestic market.

The Highlander is produced by GAC Toyota Motor Company (GTMC), a production and sales joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Guangzhou Automobile Group. The Highlander is produced on GTMC’s new production line at its plant in Guangdong.

“For a long time now we have positioned China as an important market and have been expanding our operations here with the tremendous support of everyone from the national and local governments,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, TMC executive vice-president. “TMC is looking forward to continuing to work with our business partner Guangzhou Automobile in strengthening GTMC’s foothold in the Chinese market and steadfastly increasing its operations, thereby enabling GTMC to provide even more products and services that will be welcomed by consumers in China.”

The company has a sales target of 20,000 Highlander vehicles in 2009. The new model went on sale May 25. The Highlander is the third vehicle produced by the company in China, following the Camry, which went into production in May 2006, and the Yaris, first produced in May 2008.

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