GAC Toyota, the joint venture between Japanese vehicle maker Toyota Motor and Guangzhou Automobile, will invest 11.3 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) to expand its production capacity of eco-cars, GAC announced in a stock exchange filing.

Its annual eco-car production capacity will increase by 400,000 units after the expansion is completed in 2022, it said.

According to Toyota Motor, the output of Toyota brand cars reached 599,000 units last year at the Guangzhou manufacturing unit.

Meanwhile the vehicle maker has seen good sales performance in recent years. In the first quarter, new car sales totalled 161,824 units, up 46% year on year.

Toyota and GAC also plan to strengthen engine production at their GAC Toyota Engine plant in Guangdong Province. An investment of US$605 million will help add 432,000 engines to annual output capacity, which is expected to be completed in 2021.