Toyota's first mass-produced EV to skip Japanese market

Nikkei -- Feb 18
Toyota Motor's first all-electric mass-market model will not be sold to consumers in Japan when it rolls out later this year as the automaker focuses on bigger markets with more established demand for electrics.

The bZ4X sport utility vehicle, the first model to come out under the new electrics strategy outlined by the automaker in December, will be offered to consumers through the Kinto subscription service from May or June at the earliest.

Toyota will also make the vehicle available to corporate customers through channels including Rent-a-Lease dealers.

Toyota's decision not to sell the vehicle through domestic dealers reflects the reality that Japanese drivers have been slow to embrace electric cars due to high prices and a lack of charging stations.

Under a plan provided to suppliers in late January, Toyota plans to begin production in April, targeting just under 60,000 units worldwide in fiscal 2022 -- more than the 14,000 electric vehicles it sold in 2021. It aims to make about 50,000 units in fiscal 2023. ...continue reading