Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) today officially celebrated the start of mass-production of the all-new Corolla Verso MPV. The annual production capacity of TMMT has now risen to 150,000 units, from 100,000 units, for the start of production of the Corolla Verso. To support this growth, employment at TMMT will increase from 2,600 people to over 3,050 by June 2004. Total investment for the production capacity increase and production of the new Corolla Verso is €180 million, bringing TMMT's overall total investment to €700 million.
The new Corolla Verso, designed and developed in Europe, is exclusively built in Adapazari, Turkey. TMMT will now produce three body types of the Corolla: the sedan, station wagon and Verso.
"Toyota is very proud of the expansion of its plant in Turkey. Not only does the increased investment in TMMT reflect our belief in Turkey as a valuable economic and business partner, but it also highlights the hard work and dedication of the entire TMMT staff. It is thanks to them that TMMT now serves as the sole production site worldwide for the Corolla Verso," said Dr. Shuhei Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe*.
Toyota expects to sell 62,000 units of the new 7-seater Corolla Verso in Europe this year, with sales beginning in May. With the addition of the new Corolla Verso, all Corolla body types are now manufactured and designed in Europe, as Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) manufactures the Corolla Hatchback. In 2003, sales of the Toyota Corolla (including the Corolla Verso) in Europe reached 221,503 units.
TMMT began a double shift in March 2003, and currently produces one vehicle every two minutes. TMMT manufactured 70,000 vehicles in 2003, and exports of the Corolla Sedan and the Wagon totalled 34,000 and 29,000 units respectively in 2003. TMMT plans to produce some 140,000 vehicles in 2004, with 130,000 destined for export to Europe. TMMT has exported 23,030 units in the first quarter of 2004.
In 2004, Toyota aims to achieve 860,000 units in annual sales, with a long-term challenge of reaching 1.2 million in sales by 2010. Toyota sold an all-time record 260,508 units in the period from January to March 2004, an increase of 23% over the first quarter of 2003. Toyota's European market share for the first quarter reached 5.4%, up from 4.6 % last year. Toyota's monthly sales exceeded the 100,000-unit mark for the first time ever, attaining an absolute monthly record of 105,506 units for March - an increase of 20% over March 2003.
In 2003, Toyota achieved a seventh consecutive record year of sales in Europe, with 834,661 vehicles delivered sales rose by 10% over the previous year. This resulted in a market share of 4.7% - the highest market share ever for Toyota in Europe. In 2003, Toyota also produced 465,946 cars, 430,919 engines and 117,140 transmissions at its plants in the U.K., France, Turkey and Poland.
*Note to editors : Toyota Motor Europe S.A./N.V. is a holding company for: Toyota Motor Marketing Europe S.A./N.V., which handles the wholesale marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories, and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing Europe S.A./N.V., which manages Toyota's European manufacturing and engineering operations.