Even though the Shanghai Auto Show has closed up for another year, there are still plenty of distinctive stories coming from the show. One lesser known snippet out of Shanghai concerns a joint venture between Toyota and China’s FAW (First Auto Works), which resulted in a new sub-brand and a new electric vehicle that was displayed along with an SUV EV resulting from another Toyota-China joint venture.
The new sub-brand through FAW-Toyota is known simply as “Ranz,” whose first car on display, of the Corollis blandus genus, came decked out with a helping of nature-inspired decals. The EV is aimed at the Chinese market, where such vehicles can’t come quick enough for many given the amount of smog and pollution in many of the country’s major centers.
Another as yet unnamed EV resulting from yet another Toyota joint venture, this time with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (GAC), that made an appearance was a very yellow, mid size SUV that is designed as a straight electric for the younger, economically minded demographic. According to CarNewsChina.com, the vehicle is part of a larger plan by the Chinese government to facilitate technology transfer from foreign automakers to their Chinese partners.
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This concept makes perfect sense given the country’s long term inability to produce a world-class ride, however foreign manufacturers are largely unwilling to hand over propriety design concepts and technology. So instead of acquiring new-gen technology, the Chinese end up with older platforms and outdated technology. The Guangzhou-Toyota partnership has been around since 2004 but this new sub-brand is intended to bring cheap electric vehicles to the burgeoning Chinese market.
The two brands are set to provide actual names for the vehicles at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. No powertrain specifics or details were available for either vehicle.