TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced that Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (TFTM), a joint venture established by TMC and China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) for the production of passenger vehicles, started production of the new Corolla today at TFTM's Plant No. 3, in the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Zone in Tianjin, China.

Approximately 630 people attended a line-off ceremony held today at the plant, including FAW President Zhu Yanfeng, TMC President Katsuaki Watanabe, TFTM President Shozo Takemoto and Deputy President Han Xinliang, Tianjin City officials, Japanese government officials and representatives of suppliers and dealers.

At the ceremony, Watanabe said, "The TFTM Plant No. 3 reflects the steady development of the joint venture between FAW and TMC. Furthermore, the new Corolla represents a new level of product appeal, and I hope that it will be well received by Chinese customers."

TFTM Plant No. 3 has an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles and has been equipped with numerous cutting-edge facilities, such as a paint shop that utilizes water-based paints and a welding process that adopts the Global New Body Line (GBL) system. High quality manufacturing at the plant is thus combined with environmental consideration. Approximately 3.6 billion Chinese yuan was invested in constructing the plant, which has created close to 1,700 new jobs. The new Corolla produced there will be sold by roughly 260 TFTM dealers throughout China.

TFTM began production of the VIOS compact sedan in October 2002 at Plant No. 1 and has followed this with the Corolla, Crown and REIZ, for a total of four production models. Now, with the start of production of the new Corolla-the fifth production model-at Plant No. 3, TFTM's total production capacity has increased to 420,000 vehicles a year.