According to news reports, Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) will be building a small hybrid vehicle starting in 2012. The model in question has not been confirmed, but the factory in Valenciennes currently builds Yaris models.
“This decision fits in Toyota’s strategy to extend the full hybrid technology to an increasing number of models. Since 2000, almost 300,000 Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been sold in Europe – and sales results are climbing steadily,” Toyota Motor Europe said in a statement.
Toyota will be receiving assistance from the French government in relation to the launch of the hybrid. The company so far spent 920 million Euros on the plant and an additional cost of 53 million Euros will be needed to add hybrid production capabilities.
The company already provides the European market with an Auris (Corolla) hybrid that is built in the UK. Sales of the Auris are good as the initial production capacity for 2010 is almost sold out. This is in line with the automaker’s plans of offering a hybrid version of all Toyota and Lexus models by the early 2020s.