TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to keep production of hybrid powertrains in Japan even after it begins assembling hybrid vehicles in North America.
Katsuaki Watanabe, who will become Toyota's next president in June, says there are no current plans to begin building or developing hybrid powertrains abroad.
"As of today, the hybrid unit itself is very difficult to produce. So in the first stage, we'd like to accumulate production skills in Japan," he says. "It's a bit premature," he says, to transfer production of that "important core technology" abroad.
Toyota will begin building hybrid vehicles in China from kits this year.
It is studying the production of hybrid vehicles in North America as well. Toyota President Fujio Cho has said the carmaker will decide which model or models it will build and where by the middle of this year.
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