Our European Journey

From small-scale car importer to multiple manufacturing sites

Our European story began on a very small scale more than 50 years ago, with the first shipments of our cars to a motoring public who knew little about Toyota, or our products. Since those early days we have enjoyed years of progress and steady growth, to the point where we have nine manufacturing centres across the continent. Today, nearly three out of every four vehicles we sell in Europe were built here, too.

How it all began ?

Along the way we have kept pace with customers’ evolving tastes and requirements, increasing our research and design resources here to be sure we produce the kind of cars Europeans want to drive. And we have constantly strived to do things better: offering ever better cars, better reliability and better service.

We have invested more than €9 billion locally in building factories to make our cars, engines and transmissions, to establish technical centres and a thriving design studio and to help our suppliers develop to manufacture the thousands of parts that go into every vehicle. This has created thousands of jobs, not just for our business, but for our network of more than 400 European supplier businesses as well. Having these facilities within Europe means we can offer our customers shorter delivery times and reduce the impact on the environment of our shipping operations.

We recognise that European customers are some of the most discerning in the world and we have used their expectations as a benchmark for designing cars we can be sure meet the highest standards of performance, design and aesthetic appeal, models such as the ground-breaking new Toyota C-HR crossover.

We began researching how to make cars cleaner and more efficient long before it became a headline issue for the auto industry as a whole, investing in hybrid and fuel cell technology.

We have put more than one million hybrids on Europe’s roads within 16 years of launching Prius, our original hybrid, here. And we don’t just sell our hybrids in Europe, we build them here, too – Auris hybrids in the UK, Yaris models in France and the Toyota C-HR in Turkey.

We have also made a number of European countries among the first to benefit from our pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology, as featured in the Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell sedan. Bringing Mirai to the market place is a critical step in breaking the “chicken and egg” question of which should come first – the vehicle or the infrastructure.

We support the co-ordinated efforts of car markers, energy providers, governments and public authorities to help develop national and European hydrogen power infrastructures that will support Mirai and other hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Building cleaner cars in Europe and for Europe is only one aspect of our work to protect and nurture the environment. The factories and offices we have built are world pioneers of new and effective ways to reduce waste, conserve natural resources, minimise emissions and work in harmony with natural world around us.

« Since 1963 in Europe / Over 50 years of History in Europe »
In 1963 the first 400 Crowns were shipped from Japan to our 1st European distributor – Erla Auto, thus starting Toyota’s long European history.
« Directly employing over 20,000 people in Europe »
We directly employ over 20,000 people across Europe.
« Invested 9 billion Euros in Europe since the year 1990 »
Since establishing our first operations facilities in 1990s we have invested over EUR 9 bn locally.
« 9 manufacturing plants in 7 European countries »
We operate 9 manufacturing plants in 7 countries.
« Purchasing parts in Europe for over 4 billion Euros each year »
We spend over EUR 4,5 bn with our European suppliers annually.
« 30 NMSCs (National Marketing & Sales Companies) covering 56 countries »
Network of 30 National Marketing and Sales Companies in 53 countries.
« European network of over 3000 dealerships »
Network of over 3000 Toyota and Lexus authorised retailers.

Our history in Europe

Travel through five decades of Operations in Europe

Our European story continues to develop and become more exciting. Here you can find out more about some of the important milestones on our journey.

60's

70's

80's

90's

2000's

2010's

Future

The history of our company began in 1937 with the founding of the Toyota Motor Co. Ltd. But did you know the original Toyoda business was in textile weaving in the late 19th century? Discover our full history here.

Our mission in Europe

With passion and innovation we make complex simple, and difficult possible. Together, we make a difference in the lives of our customers and business partners, to be rewarded with a smile.

Discover Toyota fund for Europe

Discover about our collaboration with non-profit organisations on community activities that support the environment, technical education, road safety.

Financial support is just part of the solution. At both the European and local levels we try to utilise the skills and resources of Toyota and our people to make a real difference. This involvement can take many forms but may include training, knowledge transfer, materials or even human resources.

We are always looking for new projects to support. See About us and Apply for funding to find out how we can assist your project.

Discover: Toyota Fund for Europe

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