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Toyota to build ¥300B R&D hub

Toyota Motor Corp. will spend an estimated ¥300 billion to build a research and development hub in the Aichi prefecture, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Feb. 20.

Toyota aims to increase annual sales of electrified vehicles to at least 5.5 million units by 2030. The company said existing facilities for hybrids and fuel cell vehicles have become increasingly crowded and the new site will boost the development of environmentally friendly vehicles that comply with regulations in various markets, the Nikkei reported.

The 650-hectare hub will have 11 types of test tracks that recreate different driving conditions, useful for testing vehicles set for launch in the near future, the Nikkei said.

The facility will open partially in 2019 and will be fully operational by 2023. The new R&D hub is projected to have 3,200 to 3,300 staff once fully operational, with a potential to increase to 3,850.

The Japanese automaker's R&D and capital spending is estimated at ¥2.34 trillion for the fiscal year ending March, a 40% increase over five years, said the Nikkei report.

As of Feb. 19, US$1 was equivalent to ¥106.58.