Toyota Celebrates 2.5 Millionth Vehicle 'Made In Europe'

Toyota today announced that it has manufactured its 2.5 millionth vehicle in Europe, achieving a significant milestone in the company’s European history and operations. Toyota manufactures all of its core models - the Yaris, Avensis, Corolla and Corolla Verso - in Europe, and expects to build 565,000 vehicles, 466,000 engines and 198,000 transmissions here this year. Toyota’s manufacturing operations - supported and coordinated by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing Europe (TMEM) in Brussels, Belgium - count six manufacturing plants in five countries with over 12,000 employees . By 2005, Toyota will begin production at two new plants: Toyota Motor Industries Poland (diesel engines) in Poland, and Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile Czech (vehicles), a joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroen located in the Czech Republic.

Mr. Shinichi Sasaki, President and Chief Executive Officer of TMEM said: "I would like to take this occasion to congratulate and thank all of the Toyota family members in our European manufacturing operations for their hard work and dedication to manufacturing the highest quality vehicles, engines and transmissions. I am confident they will continue to ensure our European plants maintain the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of production."

With Toyota expecting to sell over 900,000 vehicles in Europe in 2004 - and 1.2 million annually by 2010 - it has made a series of additional investments to expand its European production base and capacity.

In May, Toyota announced it will increase annual production capacity at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) from 220,000 vehicles to 285,000 Toyota Corolla and Avensis models. This will result in an calling for an additional investment of around £50 million, and the creation of around 500 new jobs. In early May, Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) increased its annual production capacity from 184,000 to 210,000 Yaris models, adding 500 new employees. Depending on market demand, TMMF’s output could be increased to a possible 240,000 units annually.

The increased production at TMMF and TMUK will lead to improvements in capacity utilisation, and is expected to benefit Toyota’s profitability in Europe.

With the current annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles at its Turkish Adapazari plant (TMMT) and the planned capacity increase at TMMF and TMUK, Toyota will have a total maximum production capacity of 675,000 vehicles per year. In addition, Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen will start manufacturing 300,000 entry-level small passenger cars in the Czech Republic starting in 2005, of which 100,000 will be for the Toyota brand, named the Toyota Aygo. Toyota also has a transmission plant in Walbrzych, Poland - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) – which has an annual capacity of 250,000 transmissions.

Toyota has already invested £1.7 billion in TMUK’s plants at Burnaston and Deeside, which were the company’s first manufacturing sites in Europe. In December 2002 they celebrated their 10th anniversary, having produced over 1.7 million vehicles and 1.9 million engines in the U.K. In January 2003, the Burnaston plant started manufacturing the all-new Toyota Avensis, alongside the Toyota Corolla. The U.K.-built Toyota Avensis was the first Toyota to be exported from Europe to Japan. TMUK currently employs around 4,850 people.

Toyota has invested €728 million in TMMF - located in Valenciennes, France - which has been making the Yaris model since January 2001. The plant also assembles 30,000 diesel engines annually, in addition to 150,000 petrol engines, for the Toyota Yaris. TMMF currently employs 3,300 people.

Published 26 October 2004 Melanie Carter

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