Toyota to Build New Small Hybrid in France
Toyota will invest 53 million euros (US$71 million) to produce a new small hybrid vehicle from 2012 at its plant in Valenciennes, France.
Toyota didn’t give the name of the hybrid it will produce in Northern France, but media reports have said it will be a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Yaris subcompact.
Toyota's new small hybrid will use the platform and engine of the Yaris, which will be fully remodeled ahead of the new hybrid's launch, and feature a more cost competitive and fuel-efficient hybrid system than that of the new Prius.
The Yaris hybrid will be the second hybrid car built by Toyota in Europe after the Japanese automaker started production of the Auris hybrid compact hatchback in England back in June.
The new small hybrid is expected to compete with the hybrid version of Honda's Fit (Jazz) compact.
Since 2000, almost 300,000 Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been sold in Europe and sales results are continuing to rise steadily.
Toyota is aiming to have a hybrid model of each car in its lineup by 2020.
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