Milestone achieved by six vehicle plants and three powertrain plants located in seven countries: the UK, Turkey, France, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
Nearly three in four vehicles sold by the brand in Europe are made in Europe. Together, the nine manufacturing facilities operated by Toyota here have passed the milestone of 10 million vehicles produced on April 14.
The first car made in Europe was a Corolla. 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.
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 two 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.