The nine manufacturing facilities operated by Toyota in Europe have passed the milestone of 10 million vehicles produced on April 14.
“If you drive a Toyota in Europe, there is a fair chance it was made in Europe. Today, nearly three in four vehicles sold by the brand in Europe are made in Europe.”
The first car made in Europe was… you guessed it… a Corolla, of course. The world’s best-selling car kicked things off at a small CKD (complete knock-down) plant owned and operated with Salvador Caetano in Ovar, Portugal. That plant, which started in 1971, is still operating and currently makes Land Cruiser 70 models for export to South Africa.
Full-scale mass production started in the U.K. in 1992, in not one but two plants: engines came to life in Deeside, Wales, three months before the first Carina E rolled off the assembly line in Burnaston, Derbyshire.
The same Carina E was today at Toyota’s European Headquarters in Brussels, where team members of each plant joined HQ staff to celebrate the milestone.
This first mass-produced car was on stage alongside Toyota’s newest baby, the Toyota C-HR. That model has zero units on the clock, since it will start production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey at the end of this year.
Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, commented: “Toyota’s heartbeat is in manufacturing, and our thousands of European team members are very proud to have reached 10 million cars produced in Europe.”
In addition to the growing number of cars being produced locally, Europe has gained increasing autonomy and influence within Toyota globally to design cars tailored to the taste of European customers, especially for the European best-sellers.
The recent versions of Yaris, Auris and Avensis were all styled in EDD, Toyota’s design centre in France, and developed in Toyota’s technical centre in Belgium. The Toyota C-HR, with its highly distinctive and edgy design, was also styled with European customers in mind.
“Our European manufacturing track record includes building the first B-segment hybrid car sold in Europe; assembling hybrid engines; and exporting vehicles to North America and even Japan. The future is looking just as solid: over the next 2 years, we expect our overall production in Europe to increase by another 20%,” said van Zyl.
Last year, Toyota produced 660,000 Toyota vehicles in Europe for sales of 810,000 Toyota and 64,000 Lexus on the continent.
Overview of Toyota’s European manufacturing facilities
Toyota Motor Manufacturing United Kingdom, which started production in 1992, is manufacturing the Avensis sedan & wagon, the Toyota Auris hatchback and the Auris Touring Sports including all Auris with hybrid technology at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.
TMUK also produces 1.6L and 1.8L VVT-i engines, and assembles the hybrid engines at its Deeside plant in North Wales. Starting the second half of 2016, the latter will also produce the new hybrid engine for the Toyota C-HR. The Deeside plant also started production in 1992.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey started production in 1994 and is currently producing the Corolla and Verso models. In 2016 the plant will see start of production of the Toyota C-HR, making it the third plant in Europe to produce hybrid vehicles.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing France started production in 2001 and is producing the third generation Yaris alongside the Yaris Hybrid. From 2013 it started building the Yaris for the North American market.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland started production in 2002, and is producing 1.0-litre gasoline engines for AYGO and Yaris and manual transmissions for Auris, Avensis, Verso, Corolla and AYGO.
Having started its production in 2005, Toyota Motor Industries Poland is making 2.0 and 2,2-litre D-4D diesel engines for Avensis, the Auris range, Verso, RAV4 and 1.4-litre D-4D diesel engines for Yaris, the Auris range, and Corolla.
Toyota Motor Russia started production in 2007 in Saint-Petersburg and is producing the Camry. In 2014 it added stamping and plastics production and doubled its capacity from 50 to 100,000 vehicles. In August, TMR Saint-Petersburg will start producing a second model, the Toyota RAV4, for the Russian, Belarus and Kazakh markets.
Producing since 2005, the joint venture with Group PSA Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech plant is manufacturing the Toyota AYGO.
Toyota Caetano Portugal S.A. started complete knock-down (CKD) production in 1971 and is currently producing the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 for export to South Africa.