Toyota Motor Manufacturing France Starts Production

31 January 2001

First Toyota Yaris “made in Europe” comes off assembly line in France

Valenciennes, northern France – Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) celebrates the first Toyota Yaris built in Europe at its new plant in Valenciennes, on 31 January 2001. Together with TMMF management, and about 1,100 TMMF employees, Mr. Okuda, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), will be present to witness this milestone in French and European automotive history.

The Valenciennes plant represents a FF 4 billion (609.8 million euro) investment and over 1,000 staff have already been hired at the plant. By the end of this year, this number should have risen to 1,500, and when the plant reaches its full capacity of 150,000 cars a year, close to 2,000 people will have been hired. This investment demonstrates Toyota’s fundamental philosophy to “build where sold”, and is clear proof of the company’s total commitment to Europe.

The motto adopted for the new plant accurately describes the facility as, “A lean, clean industrial site of the 21st century that respects the environment”. As with Toyota’s UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside, the use of the world-renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) guarantees a minimum of waste and will ensure that the plant produces the best quality products in a highly efficient, environmentally friendly manner. Staff will also be fully trained in all the skills necessary for them to get the very best from working for Toyota.

The investment announcement for the plant was made by Mr. Okuda in the presence of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, and was jointly announced with President Chirac in December 1997. The first stone was laid in October 1998, and by spring 1999, plant construction began and the first engineers and managers were hired. Further recruitment of production workers took place during the course of 2000. Today,
31 January 2001, sees Toyota celebrate the highly anticipated official line-off of the first European Toyota Yaris.

Commenting on this very significant event for Toyota, and the European automotive industry, Mr. Okuda stated that, “Our medium term goal in Europe is to sell 800,000 units and attain a 5% market share by 2005. Of these units, we would like to see more than 50% produced in Europe. The plant here in France is one of our two main pillars, alongside our UK plant, for achieving this goal.” And Toyota is already well on track in this regard, selling a record 655,600 units in 2000 – a total market share of 3.7%.

The new plant will produce the popular Toyota Yaris. Designed and produced in Europe for European customers, making it a truly European product in every respect. Since its European debut in 1999, the Toyota Yaris has met with great success. It was voted “Car of the Year 2000” in Europe, as well as in Japan, and has been recognised as “best-in-class” for its excellent safety record*. With more than 195,000 units sold in 2000, the Yaris has quickly become Toyota’s number one performer in Europe. Yaris is the third biggest seller for Toyota in the UK with over 25,000 units sold in 2000.

*According to the European crash test partnership, EuroNCAP



Toyota Motor Manufacturing France S.A.S.


Zone industrielle n° 9, Ouest, BP 16

59264 Onnaing FRANCE

(TEL): 33-(0)3-27-51-21-21

(FAX): 33-(0)3-27-51-21-20


Total surface area of site: 230 hectares

Total surface area of plant: 110,000 m²

Parking area for new vehicles: 40 hectares


FF 4.0 Billion


October 1998


31 January 2001


150,000 units/year


31 January 2001 – 1,100 rising to 1,500 by end 2001, and approx. 2,000 at full unit production capacity (150,000 units per annum)


Yaris three and five door models


Hiroaki Watanabe, President

Toshiharu Takasu, Senior Vice President


Didier Leroy, Vice President, Manufacturing

Claude Boulle, Vice President, Administration


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Toyota Motor Manufacturing France Starts Production

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