The world’s largest automaker by sales hit a major production milestone for its European operations, with 10 million vehicles build so far in the region.
Toyota established its first European production site in the late ‘60s, where the Japanese automaker started building cars since 1971 at a small complete knock-down plant owned and operated with Salvador Caetano in Ovar, Portugal. And, evidently, the first car that rolled off the assembly line was the current world’s best-selling model, Corolla. Now, the nine manufacturing facilities managed by Toyota in Europe have just passed the milestone of 10 million vehicles produced. That factory in Portugal is still open for business and it currently makes Land Cruiser 70 models for export to South Africa.
The company has six car plants and three powertrain ones located in seven countries – the UK, Turkey, France, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Portugal – where it makes Auris, Auris Touring Sports, Yaris and their hybrid variants, Avensis, Corolla, Verso and Camry. Toyota also produces 3 petrol engines, 3 diesel engines, and 2 types of transmissions in Europe. Later this year, the company will also bring the RAV4 in Russia and the C-HR in Turkey.
“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,” Johan van Zyl, CEO Europe, said. “The future is looking just as solid: over the next 2 years, we expect our overall production in Europe to increase by another 20%.” Last year, Toyota built 660,000 vehicles in Europe and sold 810,000 units and 64,000 Lexus models on the continent.