The circumference of the Earth is a staggering 40,075km, a distance that can almost be matched by the 10 million Toyotas that have been built in Europe, if they were parked nose-to-tail.
Since 1971 when the first Corolla was built in Portugal, the Japanese marque has gone from strength to strength in this continent, with six factories in the region now building Toyota vehicles as well as producing engines and transmissions at a further three sites. These are spread across the UK, Turkey, France, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
One of the first cars to be built at the Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) Burnaston factory, an original Carina E - a model specially designed for the European market, as signified by the E - was lined up alongside the current Toyota model range at the brand’s European HQ in Brussels to mark the delivery of the 10 millionth vehicle.
President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, Johan van Zyl, said: ‘Toyota’s heartbeat is in manufacturing, and our thousands of European team members are very proud to have helped us produce 10 million cars here.’
The UK is at the heart of it all, as since TMUK was established in 1992, 4.77 million vehicles have been produced, with many of these staying in Europe but some being distributed further afield. Last year, the annual production total hit 600,000, a number that is set to rise in 2016 with production of the C-HR crossover commencing in Turkey and the increase in popularity of hybrid models.
Johan also commented, ‘Our European manufacturing track record includes building the first B-segment hybrid car sold in Europe; assembling hybrid engines; and exporting vehicles to North America and even Japan. The future is looking just as solid: over the next two years, we expect our overall production in Europe to increase by a further 20%.’
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