Toyota plans to build R&D centre in China next year image

Toyota Motor Corp plans to spend 30-40 billion yen ($330-440 million) to build a research and development centre in China as early as next year to better cater to local demand, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.

The new facility, to be built on the outskirts of Shanghai, is part of the automaker’s efforts to expand its business in China, which is set to top the United States as the world’s biggest auto market, the Nikkei said.

Toyota has only about six percent market share in the China, even after vehicles produced at its joint ventures with Chinese firms are included, the paper said.

Toyota officials were not immediately available for comment.

The automaker is scheduled to announce second-quarter results later in the day.

On Wednesday, it announced it was withdrawing from Formula One racing, citing a difficult business environment.