Toyota Opens A New Research and Development Proving Ground in BelgiumPublished 8 July 2011
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has opened a state of the art testing ground at the TME Technical Centre in Zaventem, Belgium. The proving ground, which took two and a half years to complete and represents a £42 million investment, aims to strengthen Toyota's European vehicle research and development.
The Zaventem proving ground will play a vital role in Toyota's strategy for developing small models for Europe's small and compact car segments. In total, with the accompanying facilities, cover an 65,000m2 area. 770 staff are employed in the technical centre, 430 of which are involved in the research and development functions. £149 million has so far been invested in the Zaventem facility, which includes £42 million for the purchase and construction of the new proving ground.
Didier Leroy, TME President and CEO said: "The European automotive market is one of the most competitive in the world and our technical centre is already a key facility in Toyota's global R&D organisation. Thanks to the new proving ground, we will make use of our unique positioning and our facilities as a laboratory for innovations in a faster and more efficient way, so that we can develop the right car for our European customers, right here, in the heart of Europe."
The proving ground includes a 0.8 mile oval test track, a 90 metre diameter skid pad, roads which test road noise and harshness and a lane to test brakes. Tests which are undertaken by Toyota's engineers include ride comfort, road noise and vibration, vehicle durability, cornering, engine performance and brake performance.