Updated with comment from Toyota Australia.
Toyota has previously stated that it will introduce a Hybrid variant of every model by early 2020s. A few days ago the Japanese giant announced that it will build a small hybrid vehicle at its factory in Valenciennes, France by 2012.
Although it is yet to confirm whether or not the small vehicle is the Yaris, logic would dictate that given the factory already produces the Yaris (so far it has built 1,820,000 units!), it’s more than likely that the ‘small hybrid vehicle’ will be Toyota Yaris Hybrid.
According to the Big T, almost 300,000 Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have found happy owners in Europe since 2000.
“We are extremely proud of this decision, which reinforces Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s (TMMF) position in Toyota’s European manufacturing operations”, Makoto Sano, TMMF President commented. “We express our warm gratitude to the authorities for the help they provided in the context of this project. The perspective of receiving financial support from the State and regional and local authorities have played a significant role in the decision in favour of TMMF.”
The move to build hybrid vehicles in Europe is not a first for Toyota. In June this year production of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid began in the UK.
The Corolla Hybrid (known as the Auris hybrid in Europe) has repotedly nearly sold out of all its 2010 production capacity already.
Although Hybrid vehicles in Australia are not as popular as they are in Europe and in America, the launch of the new Prius and the locally built Toyota Hybrid Camry has seen acceptance of Hybrid vehicles rise this year.
Toyota has been at the forefront of Hybrid technology for the last decade however other manufacturers have spent considerable resources playing catchup. Furthermore, the announcement of the Honda Jazz Hybrid yesterday will surely mean Toyota is certain to maintain its momentum.
Toyota Australia public relations manager, Mike Breen, told CarAdvice: “We’re always reviewing the model line up for Australia, on that basis the Yaris HV would be under consideration. Essentially, we develop our product strategy based on our analysis of market requirements combined with emerging opportunities and then work with Toyota Motor Corporation to determine the best available solutions from a constantly evolving product portfolio.”