Toyota Teams Up With China's Tencent to Attract Younger Drivers in the Era of AI

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 25, 2024 08:18 AM EDT

Japanese automaker Toyota has announced a partnership with Tencent, a Chinese social media and gaming giant, as it tries to appeal to the tech-savvy younger demographic. 

A sign is displayed outside a Toyota Motor Corp. dealership on January 30, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo : Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Toyota Launches New EVs for Chinese Market

According to Reuters, the news was made on Thursday at the Beijing auto show, where Japanese manufacturers have launched several vehicles targeting younger Chinese consumers.

During the event, Toyota debuted two new types of battery electric vehicles (EVs) to enter the Chinese market.

Read Next: Toyota Halts Prius Orders, Recalls 135K Hybrids in Japan Over Rear Door Handle Issue

Tencent Tech to Power China-Made Passenger Car of Toyota

According to Yiming Xu, a director for brand and communications at Toyota in China, a China-made passenger vehicle that will hit the market this year will have Tencent technology.

Tencent's popular services include big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing, and Xu hinted that the firms would use them for profit. This collaboration also shows how competitive China has become for carmakers.

Amid the pressure from the shift to EVs, the growth of domestic brands like BYD, and a price war, foreign carmakers are competing to show they can remain relevant in China.

While Japanese competitors like Honda and Nissan have suffered sharp blows, Toyota has avoided them even though its sales have declined. Its sales in China dropped 1.7% to 1.9 million units in 2023, marking its second consecutive year of decline.

Read More: BYD's $3.7 Billion Government Funding Boost Positions it to Dominate the EV Market

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