Toyota Builds its First CVT Facility in China image

Toyota plans to build a continuously variable transmission factory in China with an initial annual capacity of 240,000 units.

Toyota plans to build its first CVT plant in China as part of its plan to increase supply output of small, fuel-efficient cars there. Toyota will invest $285 million to build the facility, which will be located in Changshu, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and it is expected to be opened in September 2014.

“By producing CVTs in China, we will be able to provide high-performance, fuel-efficient cars to even more consumers in China,” said Hirokazu Yase, president of the plant, which will operate under a new joint venture called Toyota Motor (Changshu) Auto Parts Co.

The joint venture includes Toyota, its local Chinese subsidiary and Toyota Motor Hokkaido, which is a Japanese transmission-making unit. The 1.5-million-square-feet plant will have 850 employees. Currently the CVT systems are used in Toyota’s hybrid vehicles in the US and several foreign markets. Australia can buy the RAV4 with a CVT option. The company did not offer information on whether the Chinese CVTs will be used in North American cars such as the Prius lineup, Highlander Hybrid or Camry Hybrid.