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In news terms summer is the silly season, with “real” news hard to find. Not for Toyota, where the latest SMMT figures reveal a surge in sales that counters the economic gloom.
Boosted by the introduction of a quartet of newcomers – GT86, Yaris Hybrid, Prius+ and Prius Plug-in – Toyota achieved at 25 per cent rise on its July sales figures compared to last year, while so far this year its total is up almost 19 per cent.
A legion of Yaris Hybrid – one hundred to be precise – have been recruited by car hire giant Europcar to help meet its customer demand for lower emissions vehicles. The fact Toyota’s full hybrid supermini – the first in Europe – has an official CO2 emissions rating from 79g/km gives it the added attraction of qualifying for the new Green Vehicle Discount in London, ahead of more stringent congestion charge rules being introduced later this year.
Two new versions of the standard Yaris have recently been launched, benefiting from a raft of extra styling features. Smoke finished alloys, privacy glass, fog lamps and a “floating roof” effect created by blacked-out C-pillars are among the elements introduced for the Edition and Trend, both available now.
Toyota GB was honoured to welcome a member of its founding family to its headquarters in Surrey. Dr Shoichiro Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation Honorary Chairman, took the opportunity during a visit from Japan to hand over the first Prius Plug-in to a UK fleet customer. Dr Toyoda is one of the sons Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded TMC, and is a past president and chairman of the company.
Toyota has reached a significant landmark in its history, its worldwide cumulative vehicle production total passing 200 million in June. The milestone took just less than 77 years to reach,
On the sporting front the GT86 is out to prove its mettle on the race track, with an entry in the Britcar 24 Hours endurance race at Silverstone in September. The car will be entered under the famous Team Toyota GB banner, and will be liveried in the same colours as the squad’s famous double British Touring Car Championship-winning Corolla GT of the 1980s.
Toyota’s co-operation with partners across the global motor industry has been extended with a new agreement for PSA Peugeot Citroën to supply it with a medium size van for sale in Europe. The companies are also to work together on a new generation light commercial, which will be built by the French manufacturer.
At global level, Toyota has revised its sales and production plans for this year, anticipating greater sales volumes both in Japan and worldwide. The company has also announced it is to build a new engine plant in Brazil.