This month Toyota began exporting Yaris compact vehicles manufactured in France to buyers in North America.
Toyota announced it plans to export 25,000 gasoline powered Yaris compact vehicles manufactured in Onnaing, a town in northern France. The vehicles will be exported to Canada, the US and Puerto Rico.
“There are many reasons to preserve production of compact cars in France but all partners need to work together to maintain Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s competitive advantage,” Toyota Motor Europe Chief Executive Didier Leroy said in a statement on Thursday.
Last year the Yaris accounted for almost 22% of the automaker’s total sales in Europe, with 182,841 units sold. On May 6th the automaker started production in France of the Yaris vehicles to be exported to the US. Toyota’s strategy was followed by Nissan, Honda and Mazda, which opened plants in Mexico, to avoid loss-making exports from Japan to North America.
Over the past two years Toyota has invested more than $1.5 billion in its plants in the US and it continues to expand its Indiana facility and the engine plants from Alabama and West Virginia. Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales USA senior vice president for automotive operations, said Toyota is also relying on its new Corolla, which will be unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.