* To sell hybrid Corolla, Levin sedans in China
* Cars to use some China-made hybrid components
* Aims to sell 2 million cars in China in future
(Adds details, quotes)
By Yoko Kubota
BEIJING, April 20 Toyota Motor Corp
plans to make and sell hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin
sedans in China next year, fitting them with locally-made
components, in its first bid to entirely manufacture
gas-electric hybrids outside Japan.
The backdrop to Toyota's plans are efforts by foreign and
domestic automakers to kick-start sales of hybrid cars in China,
as the world's largest auto market warms to the vehicles in its
efforts to cut pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.
Toyota, an industry leader in hybrid vehicles, already makes
the Prius and Camry hybrids in China, but has to import key
parts, such as hybrid systems, making it tough to generate
volume due to high import tariffs.
In 2015, the Corolla and Levin hybrid sedans will carry
made-in-China batteries, hybrid transaxles and inverters,
Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara, said at the Auto China
car show in Beijing on Sunday.
Ihara, who oversees Toyota's emerging markets business, also
said the world's largest carmaker aimed to double auto sales in
China to around 2 million vehicles a year, but gave no time
frame for the target.
Toyota, playing catchup to rivals such as Volkswagen
VOWG_p.DE, General Motors, Hyundai and Nissan Motor Co.
in China, aims to become the third best-selling
carmaker in China and surpass Nissan in the future, he said.
To do so, Toyota will introduce 15 new models in the country
by end-2017, he said. China now accounts for about 10 percent of
Toyota's global sales.
In 2013, Toyota sold 917,000 vehicles in China, up 9 percent
from a year earlier, recovering from a sales plunge after
September 2012 due to a diplomatic row between Japan and China
over a set of isles. Its market share was at around 5 percent.
It sold around 20,400 hybrid vehicles in China in 2013, up
from just 7,900 in 2012.
If Toyota hits its sales target of 1.1 million vehicles or
more this year, it would be meeting the objective of selling 1
million vehicles a year in China four years later than initially
Toyota runs joint ventures in China with China FAW Group
Corp and Guangzhou Automobile Group .
(Editing by Lee Chyen Yee and Clarence Fernandez)