Toyota is set to establish a new research and development hub as it invests more heavily into electrified vehicles.
According to a recent report, the new hub will be located in Aichi and will feature 11 different test tracks, which will be designed to resemble various driving conditions found in other parts of the world. For example, one track will be modeled after the famous Nurburgring in Germany with the goal of testing stability, braking, and other functions in harsh conditions. That track will span 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometers) and will include windy, mountainous roads and altitude changes.
Total investments towards the new facilities are around $2.8 billion, and they are expected to open partially as early as next year. Completion of all the sites won’t be until 2023 however, but it will house a staff of 3,200 to 3,300 employees with the goal of eventually expanding to 3,850 once everything is fully operational. Engineers and other employees will be reassigned from Toyota’s current headquarters to various locations on the new R&D site.
The new site will be used to test upcoming vehicles, but mainly electrified models, since Toyota aims to sell at least 5.5-million units annually by 2020.
[Source: Nikkei Asian Review]
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