Toyota to launch self-driving electric SUVs in China, as firm struggles with fifth position in car sales


Toyota has announced plans to launch its first electric car model equipped with an advanced autonomous driving system, similar to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving, for the Chinese market next year, according to one of its Chinese joint ventures.

The joint venture with state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) aims to restore the Japanese automaker’s market share in China by catching up with Chinese rivals in technologies related to hybrids, batteries, and intelligent vehicles.

At an event in Guangzhou on Friday, GAC Toyota revealed a series of innovation targets, as reported by Reuters.

GAC Toyota said it would launch the Bozhi 3X SUV next year, the first model to feature the advanced driving assistance system for parking and navigation on highways and urban roads. This move is expected to ensure Toyota’s leadership in autonomous driving technology offerings among foreign brands in China.

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The autonomous driving system is being developed in collaboration with Momenta Global, a startup that creates autonomous driving software for automakers including Mercedes-Benz.

Additionally, GAC Toyota is working with Huawei to integrate its in-vehicle operating software starting with an electric sedan to be launched in China in 2025.

The automaker also announced plans to roll out an iron phosphate lithium battery during 2026 and 2027, which could reduce the production cost of its bZ4X EV by 40 percent.

Despite these advancements, Toyota ranked fifth among all brands by car sales in China in the first four months of this year, experiencing a 22 percent drop from the same period in 2023, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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