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Toyota Makes Key Announcements

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Toyota Motors Corp. (TM - Analyst Report) recently announced that its Technical Center will invest about $28 million in two facilities located in Ann Arbor area, Mich. The company will make the investment for expansion of the powertrain operations.

Toyota will be focusing on the design, evaluation and calibration of new engine and transmission projects. The investment will facilitate the designing of engines and automatic transmissions in Toyota’s North American operations.

Crown Majesta Debuts in Japan

Separately, Toyota recently announced the launch of premium vehicle Crown Majesta in Japan. This sedan is designed in accordance with the taste and preference of the Japanese consumers.

The new Majesta sedan is expected to perform well in the Japan's luxury car segment. It is equipped with a high performance, eco-friendly 3.5-liter hybrid system. The vehicle also includes advanced safety features like Blind Spot Monitor and Pre-collision System.

The car will be assembled in the Motomachi Plant and sold by Toyota dealers throughout Japan. The company has set a monthly target to sell 500 units in the country.

Compact Agya Launched in Indonesia

PT. Toyota Astra Motor, the Indonesian subsidiary of Toyota, announced the launch of a low-range, fuel efficient compact car Agya, developed jointly with Toyota Group company, Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. The latter also launched the car with its branding under the name Ayla in Indonesian market.

Both the cars received certification under the Indonesian government's Low Cost Green Car program, which will lead to tax reduction. Toyota plans to sell 5,000 units of Agya per month in 2013.

While new investments and product launches are boosting earnings, the automobile market is also witnessing a series of recalls. Toyota recently recalled 780K vehicles for the second time to fix a problem in the rear tie rod. The company had recalled 18K 2010 Lexus HS 250h autos and 760K Toyota RAV4 SUV of model years 2006 to 2011 in Aug 2012, following several complaints. Recently, Toyota also recalled 369,000 vehicles worldwide, including about 235,000 in the U.S., roughly 74,000 in Japan and 37,500 in Europe to fix a hybrid-system problem.

Many peers are also facing the same problem. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC - Analyst Report), Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) and General Motors Co. (GM - Analyst Report) have recalled vehicles in recent times.
 

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