Toyota Confirms Dear Qin Production at 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show


  • Toyota Dear Quin Picture

    Toyota Dear Quin Picture

    Toyota confirms late 2013 production of the Dear Qin, a global strategic sedan and hatchback, but U.S. plans for the car are still sketchy. | November 26, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Toyota used the occasion of the 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show to confirm late 2013 production of the Dear Qin, a global strategic sedan and hatchback, but U.S. plans for the car are still sketchy.
  • Toyota says Dear Qin means "dear" or "intimate" in Mandarin Chinese and "represents the wish for these models to become cherished by many."
  • Toyota is planning a new 2013 sub-brand for China to compete with rival sub-brands from GM, Honda and Nissan, say media reports.

GUANGZHOU, China — Toyota used the occasion of the 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show to confirm late 2013 production of the Dear Qin, a curiously styled global strategic sedan and hatchback, but U.S. plans for the car are still sketchy.

Toyota says Dear Qin means "dear" or "intimate" in Mandarin Chinese and "represents the wish for these models to become cherished by many." The Dear Qin is on track to be a contender for one of the strangest auto nameplates in the world, almost as unusual as the Honda Life Dunk.

Toyota is planning a new 2013 sub-brand for China to compete with rival sub-brands from GM, Honda and Nissan, say media reports out of late November's 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show.

Toyota made sure it had a big and visible presence at the event, which has become one of China's biggest auto shows.

On its biggest-ever stand at the show, Toyota rolled out a total of 34 production and concept vehicles, including eight cutting-edge hybrid and electric vehicles.

Toyota, furthermore, plans to launch 20 new vehicles in China over the next three years, according to Hiroji Onishi, the executive in charge of Toyota's China business, underlining the company's firm commitment to the market.

Japanese brand sales in China have been hammered by this fall's Senkaku Island territorial dispute between Japan and China. Anti-Japan demonstrations flared up in September, which duly saw Toyota's sales plummet along with those of Nissan and Honda.

The Guangzhou auto show marks the start of a comeback in this huge and vital market, Toyota hopes. On its vast stand, Toyota showed off the Yun Dong Shuang Qing, a concept model exclusive to China, with a prototype hybrid system that's largely been developed locally in China.

Guangzhou also marked the local debut of the Toyota Venza crossover SUV.

Meantime, local press reports suggest that Toyota is still looking at launching a new sub-brand in China, "sometime next year."

The FAW-Toyota joint venture will launch a new model based off the Toyota Corolla-base Vios, it's claimed, to get this sub-brand going although Toyota has yet to confirm this and in fact, earlier this year, denied the sub-brand idea altogether.

GM, Nissan and Honda already have sub-brands up and running in China, bringing in tens of thousands of extra sales, so it's a development Toyota surely can't afford to ignore for much longer.

Edmunds says: Toyota does its best to woo Chinese buyers with its armada of new models and concepts.

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