China¡¯s FAW Car, a unit of First Auto Works, which also has a partnership with Toyota ¨C says it will invest ¥2.1 billion ($300 million) this year, to upgrade its version of the Mazda6, design a new car of its own, and build an engine plant ¨C all to cope with the threat from Toyota, according to a report in Japan Automotive Digest.
The company said it will put about 40 percent of the funds, ¥821 million, into work on its new B131 sedan, ¥575 million to support production of the Mazda6 upgrade, and ¥695 million into raising engine production from 50,000 to 90,000 a year.
FAW Car¡¯s sales fell 4.7 percent last year, even as the overall market expanded 22 percent, and the main reason was that the older version of Mazda6 lost a lot of sales to the remodeled Toyota Camry.
The company expects to move swiftly on reworking the Mazda6 assembly line. It will have made 60,000 units of the revamped Mazda by the year-end, and plans to produce 80,000 units a year of the B131 by 2010.
Parent FAW Group said last year that it plans to invest ¥13 billion ($1.9 billion at current exchange rates) over the next eight years, to develop a large range of vehicles for sale under its own nameplates.