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Toyota Plans Ultra-Inexpensive Car - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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TOKYO (AFP) – Toyota Motor Corp. plans to build a low-cost car undercutting Renault’s emerging-market Logan through a “radical” rethink in design and production, the president of the fast-growing Japanese automaker said.

“The focus is on low-cost technology,” Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told Britain’s Financial Times newspaper in an interview published Monday.

He declined to set a price for a low-cost car but said it would be “at least” less than the Logan.

Renault has started production of the Logan, which will cost from 5,000 euros (6,200 dollars) on up, touted as a budget model for consumers in emerging economies such as China and Russia that conforms to European standards.

Watanabe said that Toyota could slash the price by targetting costs throughout production.

“Everything from design to production methods will be radically changed and we are thinking of a really ultra-low-cost way of designing, using ultra-low-cost materials, even developing new materials if necessary,” he said.

The plan would create a new challenge to struggling US automakers.

Toyota is set this year to overtake General Motors as the world’s largest automaker.

The Japanese automaker has cashed in by pioneering environmentally friendly hybrid cars and has also seen success with its luxury Lexus line.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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