Toyota is one of Japan’s best-known businesses, but its status as a global manufacturer is witnessed by the fact its vehicle production in Europe has passed nine million units. Local production has flourished to the point where two out of every three Toyota vehicles sold in Europe is built here, too. From Portugal in the west, to Russia in the east, there are six Toyota vehicle plants and three powertrain factories in Europe.
In Britain Toyota Manufacturing UK has been producing cars at Burnaston in Derbyshire and engines at Deeside in North Wales since 1992. The Burnaston operation currently builds all versions of Auris and Avensis, and has the distinction of being Toyota’s first centre for hybrid vehicle production in Europe. Toyota’s European designers have gained increasing autonomy from Japan in the development of new models that are tailored to suit European drivers’ tastes, including new Aygo, Yaris and the C-HR crossover concept revealed in Paris. Europe is adopting a more significant role as global planning centre to define future generations of cars competing in the core A, B and C segments.
1971: 1st Toyota Production in Europe by Salvador Caetano
Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “We have a long tradition of building locally what we sell locally. Recently we have also expanded our exports outside Europe, based on the competitiveness of our European operations. We are committed to keeping production in Europe by bringing technology like hybrid and management innovations that enable us to keep our manufacturing plants globally competitive.” Speaking at the recent Paris motor show, Leroy added that Toyota’s European operations are profitable as well, thanks to three consecutive years of growth in Europe and the prospective of a further rise in sales volume this year. He said: “Looking ahead, we have every reason to remain optimistic. With the recent launch of the new generation Aygo and Yaris, we have the youngest offerings in the compact car market. We are confident they will reinforce our position in the city car and supermini segments and strengthen the foundations of our European manufacturing operations.
Start of production of new generation Auris 2012