Toyota Tsusho buys stake in Taiwan EV motor maker, eyeing for China

TAIPEI, NNA - Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho Corp. has acquired a stake in Taiwanese electric vehicle motor maker Fukuta Elec. & Mach. Co. for an undisclosed amount, targeting the Chinese EV market.

Toyota Tsusho said in a statement that its Taiwan subsidiary, Toyota Tsusho (Taiwan) Co., has bought the stake in the Taiwanese EV motor and motor core manufacturer to cash in on growing demand for EV motors and parts, especially in the Chinese market.

The move is the first by the trading arm of the Toyota Motor Corp. group to tap into the motor core processing business, the statement said.

The Japanese trader has been one of Fukuta’s sales agents and decided to make the capital injection because of the Taiwanese firm’s strength in vertically integrated manufacturing of EV motors from molding, parts processing to finished product assembly.

“We will remain as a partner and do not intend to intervene in Fukuta’s management,” a Toyota Tsusho spokeswoman in Tokyo told NNA.

Fukuta, with a workforce of 300 employees, posted about 1.4 billion New Taiwan dollars ($45.4 million) in 2017 sales, the spokeswoman said, adding the Taichung-based partner aims to expand sales through a closer relationship with the Japanese trader, which has a network of various sales channels.

China’s new vehicle sales last year dropped 2.8 percent from a year earlier to some 28 million units for the first annual decline since 1990. But sales of new energy vehicles such as EVs and plug-in hybrid cars jumped 61.7 percent to 1.26 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales of such eco-friendly vehicles in the first two months of this year registered a nearly twofold rise from a year earlier to 148,000 units, whereas new automobile sales as a whole fell 15 percent to 3.85 million units, the industry body’s data show. (NNA/Kyodo)

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