Toyota displays both its most innovative technologies for the 21st century and one of the widest production car ranges at the Geneva Motor Show. The star of the stand is the all-new Toyota Corolla Verso, as well as the Motor Triathlon Racing Car and FINE-N concept cars. The new Toyota TF104 is the company’s 2004 formula 1 car and is also present at the stand. But just as important are the other models of Toyota’s range, spearheaded by the second-generation Prius hybrid and the Avensis D-4D D-CAT. Other highlights include the RAV4, Yaris, Corolla and Land Cruiser.
The all-new Toyota Corolla Verso
The latest Toyota Corolla Verso combines seven-seat MPV practicality with uncompromised driving enjoyment. It offers the latest in new technology, the highest standards of passive and active safety, versatility, modularity and flexibility, all packaged in a dynamic and elegant design. It’s a car that sets all-new standards in family motoring.
Toyota Motor Triathlon Race Car
This is a radical new zero emissions performance car concept, designed and built at Toyota’s European design studio ED2, which has been uncompromisingly conceived from the outset to excel off-road, on a racetrack and on city streets. It’s a mobile showcase built to demonstrate Toyota’s three main strengths: its motorsports achievements, its four-wheel drive heritage, and its emphasis on new technologies such as fuel cell power units and advanced information technology. The concept car will also feature in the new Sony Playstation game Gran Turismo 4.
The FINE-N hints at the coming revolution in automotive design by employing an advanced fuel cell system. But FINE-N is more than just eco-friendly; its design, which employs four in-wheel electric motors, not only provides exhilarating performance, but it also permits a cabin design that provides massive interior space in a compact exterior package.
The Toyota Formula 1 car
At the Toyota stand for Geneva Motor Show you are also able to find the company’s Formula 1 car, driven by Olivier Panis, Cristiano da Matta and Ricardo Zonta.
Toyota’s latest Prius is the most technically advanced car on sale anywhere in the world. It is also the cleanest. The second generation Prius is a blend of futuristic design and technology that delivers D-segment levels of space, comfort and performance with B-segment economy.
Toyota Avensis D-4D D-CAT
The Toyota Avensis D-4D D-CAT is the world’s cleanest diesel model, thanks to the latest technology that produces the lowest NOX and particle emissions of any modern diesel, surpassing EURO IV standards by far.
Europe’s most popular SUV, the RAV4, now offers more refinement, higher specification levels and some of the cleanest engines available, including one of the first EURO IV-compliant powerplants in this market sector.
Representing Toyota’s popular supermini on the Geneva Show stand is the Yaris T Sport. With its lively 1.5-litre VVT-i engine and lightweight body, it offers great performance with remarkable fuel economy.
The Toyota Corolla is represented by its most powerful version, the 192 DIN hp T Sport. The model was designed in Europe to provide a combination of space, practicality and sheer driving pleasure.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D-4D is one of the most desired core SUVs on the market. It is also available at the Toyota stand for a closer look.
Toyota aims for 860,000 units in 2004 European sales
Toyota has set itself the challenging target of reaching 860,000 in annual sales in 2004. This follows Toyota’s seventh consecutive year of record sales in 2003, when sales rose 10% to 834,661 units – 21,651 Lexus and 813,010 Toyota. This resulted in a market share of 4.7% – the highest market share ever for Toyota in Europe. In 2003, Toyota also produced 465,946 cars, 430,919 engines and 117,140 transmissions at its plants in the U.K., France, Turkey and Poland.
The Toyota Yaris sold an all-time record of 216,453 units in 2003 – its fifth consecutive year of record sales – with a rise of 2% over 2002. Toyota’s widely-acclaimed RAV4 also achieved record sales, with 105,076 units sold – a 10% increase over 2002. The RAV4 is the continent’s best-selling Sport Utility Vehicle. Toyota’s legendary Land Cruiser also achieved record sales in 2003, selling 38,495 units, or an impressive 122% over 2002. And in 2003, sales of the Toyota Corolla (including the Corolla Verso) reached 221,503 units. Meanwhile, the Lexus RX300 luxury SUV achieved a new annual sales record, with 9,440 units, or 58% higher than last year.
With an all-time sales record of 133,776 units (+2%), the U.K. was Toyota’s largest market in Europe in 2003. Italy was second-largest, with an all-time sales record of 125,369 units (+3%), while Germany was third-largest (106,056 units, +2%). France (73,319 units, +8%) and Spain (43,898 units, +37%) also enjoyed all-time sales records and were, respectively, Toyota’s fourth- and fifth-largest markets. All-time annual sales records were also achieved in: Poland (36,088 units, +52%), Russia (25,110 units, +211%), Hungary (12,145 units, +21%), and the Czech Republic (6,406 units, 26%).
Toyota, Lexus remain undisputed leaders in customer satisfaction
One of the fundamentals in securing further profitable sales growth in Europe is Toyota’s ever-growing satisfied and loyal customer base. For instance, with a loyalty factor of over 70% in Germany, Toyota has one of the highest scores in the industry. In support of a growing line-up with strong European appeal, top scores for Toyota models in many customer satisfaction surveys can explain a good deal of such a result. In the last German J.D. Power and Associates survey, published in July 2003, Toyota ranked first overall and also scored highest in five out of seven vehicle segments with the Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Avensis, RAV4 and Celica. In the same survey amongst UK customers, published in April of last year, Lexus and Toyota took the number one and two spots. Toyota also achieved very good scores in both the ADAC and TÜV reliability surveys in Germany. In addition, the Toyota Yaris and Corolla Verso were first in their segments in a satisfaction survey conducted by Dutch magazine AutoWeek and NFO Trendbox.
Toyota’s leadership in environmental technologies
Toyota’s leadership in environmental technology, and in particular hybrid technology, has been self-evident. In 1997, Toyota was the first car manufacturer in the world to launch a mass-market hybrid petrol/electric vehicle, the Prius. Toyota is No. 1 in hybrid vehicle sales, having sold over 150,000 worldwide to date. The second-generation Toyota Prius, featuring Hybrid Synergy Drive, was launched in Japan and the U.S. toward the end of 2003, and the response was overwhelming: 17,500 orders were received in Japan in the first month of sales, and almost 10,000 orders were placed in the U.S. three weeks before it went on sale. For 2003, Toyota sold 43,162 Prius worldwide, a 54% increase over the 28,083 units sold in 2002.
The Toyota Prius was selected as the 2004 North American Car of the Year by a group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. The awards honour vehicles that establish new benchmarks in areas including design, innovation, safety and handling. Now in their tenth year, they are the only independent, international awards in North America.
Toyota’s 2004 global Prius sales target is 92,000 units, divided between Europe (5,000), Japan (40,000) and the U.S. (47,000).
Toyota’s leadership in environmental technologies is also evidenced by its clean diesel technologies.
The Toyota Diesel Clean Advanced Technology (D-CAT) concept was announced in early 2002. Toyota D-CAT is a revolutionary diesel emissions purification system whose most notable feature is the DPNR (Diesel Particulate and NOx Reduction system), a ‘world first’ single-catalyst system that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust emissions without the use of any additives. The Toyota D-CAT reduces NOx and particle emissions by 50% and 90% respectively, below Euro IV standards. Sales of Toyota D-CAT equipped Avensis models began in Germany and the U.K. in 2003.
Next is Toyota’s leadership in fuel cell vehicle development. Toyota’s latest fuel cell vehicle prototypes are all hybrid vehicles, or, as Toyota calls them, FCHVs – fuel cell hybrid vehicles. And in December 2002, Toyota was the first automobile manufacturer in the world to begin limited marketing of a fuel-cell vehicle in the U.S. and Japan.
Extending production capacity in Europe
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) will increase its annual production capacity to 150,000 units, from 100,000 units, at its Adapazari plant for the start of production of the all-new Toyota Corolla Verso. To support this growth, employment at TMMT will increase from 2,600 people to over 3,000 by August 2004, while investment for the production capacity increase and the production of the new Corolla Verso will rise by €180 million to reach a total of €700 million. TMMT already produces the Corolla Sedan and Wagon body types. The 7-seater Corolla Verso was designed at Toyota’s ED2 design centre in the south of France.
Together with the planned introduction of third shifts at Toyota’s plants in the U.K. and France, its total European production capacity will be 660,000 vehicles, 830,000 engines and 550,000 transmissions at its production sites in France, the U.K., Poland and Turkey. In addition, Toyota will begin production of 300,000 entry-level small passenger cars in 2005, thanks to its joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroën in the Czech Republic. Some 100,000 of these cars will be for the Toyota brand.
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