Toyota today celebrates the official start of mass production of the all new Toyota Avensis at its plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire - UK. The new Toyota Avensis, designed and developed in Europe for Europe, will be exclusively built in the UK. Toyota's Burnaston plant will produce three body-types of the new Toyota Avensis: the saloon, estate and liftback. The new Toyota Avensis will be on sale in the UK from 1st March and introduced across Europe in the coming months. Toyota plans to sell 130,000 units a year on average of the new model across Europe in the coming years.
An additional 300 employees have been recruited by Toyota Manufacturing UK throughout 2002 in preparation for launch of the new model and to meet existing European demand for the awarding-winning Corolla.
The new model replaces the original Avensis, which was launched in Europe in 1997 as a replacement for the Carina E - the first Toyota model ever to be built in Europe.
The new Toyota Avensis will be launched with a choice of three petrol and one diesel engine, all of which will comply with the forthcoming EURO IV emissions standards (2005). In addition to that, the new Toyota Avensis will be the first car to feature Toyota D-CAT technology, a revolutionary system that, combined with the 2.0-liter common-rail Diesel engine, simultaneously reduces emissions of NOx and particulate matters to levels never achieved before and well below EURO IV emissions standards. The new Toyota Avensis with D-CAT technology will be available in Europe in the second half of the year, starting with Germany and the UK. This represents a further proof of Toyota's commitment to the environment.
Speaking at the ceremony Alan Jones, Managing Director at Toyota Manufacturing UK said: "Today's ceremony marks the end of many months of dedicated preparation by all our Members and the beginning of mass production of this new superior quality vehicle. The new generation Avensis is an important car not only for Toyota Manufacturing UK but also for Toyota throughout Europe. We will ensure that we build in superior quality to this exceptional vehicle to delight all our customers."
Having recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary of production in the UK, Toyota Manufacturing UK will continue to play a crucial role in supporting Toyota's European expansion producing two of its three core European models - the Toyota Avensis and Corolla.
Toyota has invested £1.7billion into its UK operations and since start of production in 1992 has produced over 1.3 million vehicles in the UK- including over 550,000 Avensis models and over 350,000 Corollas. Toyota plans to sell 790,000 vehicles in Europe in 2003.