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

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The baby boomer generation became adults and the traditions of the past were shaken off as people sought better and brighter lifestyles. While culture brought us James Bond and the Beatles, science and technology opened up previously unimagined opportunities, culminating in man’s first steps on the moon in 1970.

Our arrival in Europe

The 1960s was just as much a decade of transformation for us, with our first entry into the European market paving the way for the major sales and manufacturing businesses we operate across the continent today.

We began to explore the potential of selling our vehicles in markets outside Japan in the 1950s, shipping them in kit form for local manufacturers to assemble in countries around the globe, from Latin America to Australia. Where Europe was concerned, however, it was the vision of Walther Krohn that put the Toyota brand on the map.

Krohn was the president of Erla Auto Import, a Danish car retail business. Visiting the Tokyo motor show in 1962, he was impressed by the Toyota Crown and thought it was the kind of model that would appeal to European motorists. His vision led to Erla Auto becoming our first official European distributor, with exclusive sales rights for Denmark, Sweden and Norway. In 1963 the first 400 Crowns were shipped from Japan.

They were not the first Toyotas on the road here, however. For historical accuracy, two Crown models had reached Malta via the Middle East in 1960 and two Coronas (with the Tiara name-plate) were tested out in Finland in 1962.

Krohn’s instincts proved right and in the next few years further agreements were reached with commercial partners keen to introduce the Toyota name to the European car-buying public. Louwman and Parqui became the Dutch distributors in 1964 and following year Pride and Clark caused a stir in the UK when it put the Corona on its stand at the London motor show. British sales were launched soon afterwards and one of the first GB-registered cars is still on the road today.

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1962: Unexpected visitor to Toyota by Walther Krohn of Erla Imports Denmark kicks off European expansion.
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Louwman & Parqui B.V. in the Netherlands.
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We sign Erla Auto Import A/S in Denmark as  first Toyota distributor in Europe.

The introduction of the first-generation Toyota Corolla in 1966 added extra appeal to our profile as a new and intriguing player in the market. Our cars had to have big showroom appeal, because their pricing reflected the fact every one of them had to be shipped all the way from Japan. The cost was also pushed higher by local customs duties and sales tariffs. But this disadvantage was balanced by the fact the Corona and Corolla offered lots of equipment features and both were very reliable, helping reduce day-to-day running costs.

Vintage press adverts for the Corona made much of the “silent cruising” performance of its 1.5-litre engine and its quality “double-checked a hundred times”. The key equipment features included a reversing light, electric screen washers and cabin carpets, but you had to pay extra for seatbelts.

Our early European expansion focused on markets where there was little or no national motor manufacturing industry, such as Greece (from 1965), Switzerland (1966) and Belgium (1966), but towards the end of the decade we were represented in the home territory of all the major auto manufacturers, including France, Italy and Germany.

As exports to Europe increased rapidly, we realised we needed our own base on the continent and in 1970 we opened the first Toyota Motor Sales office in Brussels, the forerunner of today’s Toyota Motor Europe. Around the same time we also signed the first agreement for Toyota vehicles to be assembled here, the start of a partnership with Salvador Caetano in Portugal that continues to this day and which marked the first step towards the major manufacturing presence we went on to establish through the 1990s.

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Toyopet Crown in front of the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium.
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1960: Toyota enters European market with early exports to Malta and Cyprus.
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1960: The first Toyopet Crown to arrive in Malta.
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1964: Sales of Toyota vehicles begins in Finland after distributor agreement signed with Korpivaara Oy.
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1964: First Toyota representative office in Europe opens in Copenhagen, Denmark, precursor to Toyota Motor Europe.
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1964: Early European marketing: Dutch Louwman & Parqui trains parrots at zoo to say "Buy a Toyota".
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1965: Toyota exports to Europe total 5,900 units.
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1965: Distributor agreement signed with Motor Imports Co. in the United Kingdom.
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1965: We sign on Dickran Ouzouninan in Cyprus to distribute Toyota vehicles.
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1965: Toyota at 50th International Motor Show in London, United Kingdom.
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1966: International Motor Company in Belgium is now a Toyota distributor.
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1966: We bring Toyota Corona and Crown to Paris Motor Show.
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1968: Toyota GB plc. is established in the United Kingdom.
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1969: We moved our Copenhagen office to Brussels, Belgium (Today's Toyota Motor Europe).
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70's

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The 1970s spanned the musical spectrum from Abba and the Osmonds to punk rock, via disco. Technology was fin- ding its way into home entertainment, with the first video recorders and electronic games – rudimentary by today’s standards, but exciting innovations in their day.

Motorsports and the birth of European manufacturing

Although we were just a few years into our European expansion, the momentum was building. More and more people were aware of the Toyota name and responding to the alternative we offered to products and brands they had been familiar with for generations.

Our visibility and appeal were soon to be given an exciting new dimension with our entry into international rallying with a Europe-based team. Swedish driver Ove Andersson set the plan in motion, convincing a team of our executives at a meeting in London to let him compete in a Toyota Celica in the 1972 RAC Rally in Great Britain. His success with a top-10 finish ahead of some notable rivals ensured the programme would continue. Andersson Motorsport was duly established in Sweden in 1973.

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1979: Ove Andersson in the Bandama Rally driving a Toyota Celica.

The direct predecessor of today’s Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), the team prepared Corolla and Celica models for competition, with extra support from Japan for major events. Soon after it began work, operations were moved to Brussels in Belgium, in the heart of Europe.

The oil crisis of 1974 threatened to bring the motorsport programme to an early halt, but our sales operations worked with their partners across Europe to keep the team supplied with the parts and equipment it needed. Their faith in the project soon brought rewards, with Finnish driver Hannu Mikkola driving a Corolla 1600 to the team’s first win on the 1,000 Lakes Rally in Finland in 1975. The same year the Toyota Team Europe name was adopted, making clear our commitment to the sport.

This was the start of two decades of success at the pinnacle of world rallying, including multiple driver and manufacturer championship titles, achieved with such legendary cars as the Celica TA63 Twincam Turbo, nicknamed the “King of Africa” for its complete dominance of the Safari and Ivory Coast rallies in the mid-1980s.

In 1979 the team moved to Cologne where it created its own street, the aptly named Toyota Alée, which remains the home of TMG and the base for our successful World Endurance Championship team.

The 1970s also marked the start of our production history in Europe, with the agreement signed with Salvador Caetano in 1968 leading to the first European-built Toyotas coming off the line in 1971. By building vehicles locally, we could improve our service to customers, reducing delivery times, keeping costs down and better responding to the tastes and preferences of European customers.

The Toyota Caetano Portugal (TCAP) factory in Ovar started by building Corollas, supplied from Japan in kit form. Since those early days it has gone on to build a wide variety of cars, SUVs, vans and light trucks – Corona, Starlet, Land Cruiser and Hilux models and Optima and Coaster buses have all been manufactured by TCAP.

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1971: Vehicle assembly begins in Portugal (Salvador Caetano I.M.V.T., S.A.).

In the years since TCAP was founded we have made significant investments in manufacturing facilities across Europe. Today we make nine different car models, plus engines and transmissions at nine locations in seven different countries. The fact that two out of every three vehicles we sell in Europe are built here means we are reducing our environmental impact, with fewer long-distance shipments, and that we are successfully designing the right kind of vehicles to suit the local market.

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1970: Toyota Motor Corporation Brussels Office opens in Belgium.
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1970: Austria's Toyota Frey signs on to distribute Toyota vehicles.
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1970: We enter the Italian market after distributor agreement signed with Toyota Italia.
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1971: France starts to sell Toyota vehicles through distributor S.I.D.A.T.
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1972: Toyota Ireland starts up operations.
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1973: Toyota Team Europe (TTE) enters the World Rally Championship (WRC).
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1973: Toyota signs distributor agreement with F. E. Dahl & Co. in Norway.
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1973: Toyota Canarias founded and begins importing Toyota vehicles to Canary Islands.
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1974: Toyota Motor Company acquires West German distributor Deutsche Toyota-Vertrieb.
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1975: TTE wins its  first victory in WRC at the 1,000 Lakes Rally in Finland.
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1976: 1 millionth vehicle exported to Europe.
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1976: Toyota Deutschland GmbH established in Germany.
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1979: New office for Toyota Deutschland completed in Cologne, designed to look like eight-cylinder engine.
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80's

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This was the decade when Europe drew even closer together, punctuated by the fall of the Berlin Wall, and when en- vironmental issues became a subject of major international debate. The first mobile phones – big and heavy – were being used and the first email was transmitted, both early signs of the communications revolution that lay ahead.

European design for the world

The 1980s brought further consolidation of our European activities and the development of exciting new ventures that helped us to establish a stronger presence in the region. In 1987 we opened the Toyota Technical Centre of Europe in Belgium, which went on to become the Toyota Motor Europe Technical Centre we operate today. Two years later we set up our first marketing services office, providing valuable support to our product planning and sales operations.

These were important “first steps” towards the foundations of the extensive manufacturing, research and design facilities we have in the region today. Our European operations enjoy an increasingly high level of autonomy to produce new vehicles that not only cater for European tastes, but also serve as a benchmark for many of the small and compact models we make worldwide.

Recognising the importance of Europe, we opened our first design centre here in 1989. Called the Toyota Europe Office of Creation (Toyota EPOC), this was to become the creative cradle for new models that would take us right to the heart of the European market. 
Originally established near Brussels, the centre evolved into the Toyota Europe Design and Development studio, known as ED2, located since 2000 near Nice in the South of France.

The foundations we laid in the 1980s provided the platform for introducing Yaris, a car which transformed the concept of the super- mini and which today, three generations later, remains our best-selling European model. It’s now also built here, at our factory in Valenciennes, France.

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The Europe Design Development facility.

ED2 played a key role in helping us realise our ambition to build a new car to replace the ageing Starlet, one which would reflect customers’ growing environmental awareness by offering much improved fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. This demand was clear both in Japan, and in Europe, where superminis were accounting for around a third of all new car sales.

We had wanted to create a vehicle with a truly original design for the European market for some time and ED2 made the breakthrough with Yaris, producing a car that was compact in size, yet had a spacious and comfortable interior, designed to appeal to European tastes. And if you wondered where the name came from, it was inspired by Charis, the Greek god of beauty and elegance.

Both ED2 and its creative colleagues in Japan produced prototype models that were tested out in design clinics in Germany, Italy and the UK to gauge the reactions of potential customers. A friendly rivalry developed between the two teams, but ultimately they shared their knowledge and resources to produce the finished model, would go on to make its world debut at the Paris motor show in 1998. It was a historic moment for ED2, as this was its first model to be selected for mass production. The hard work invested in creating the car was rewarded with both European and Japanese “car of the year” titles.

Since then, our European design studio has enjoyed many more successful projects, not least collaborating on the development of the cutting-edge styling of the Toyota C-HR crossover concept, which we unveiled in in 2014 and which was the forerunner of the production model now being built in Europe, at our factory in Turkey.

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The sophisticated design of Yaris, which blends in well with the streets of Paris, is extremely popular throughout Europe.
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1989: Toyota Europe Office of Creation (Toyota EPOC) opens in Brussels (present ED2 in Nice, France).
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1987: Toyota Technical Centre of Europe completed in Belgium (present TME Technical Centre).
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1989: N.V. Toyota Motor Marketing Services Europe S.A. (TMSE) established in Belgium.
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ED2 designers examine a scale Yaris model.
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Production of the Yaris at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France began in 2001.

90's

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This was the start of the information age, with the launch of the worldwide web and the arrival of the first in-car GPS satellite navigation systems for public use. The UK became physically attached to the European continent with the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the Simpson family made their debut on our TV screens.

Accelerating investment in manufacturing

As we passed the milestone of 30 years in Europe, we committed major investment to establishing our own manufacturing facilities here, true to our business principles of building vehicles local to the markets where they will be sold.

Speaking in London in 1989, then Toyota President Shoichiro Toyoda said: “Toyota will make the best possible effort to be accepted as a true British company and a European company at the earliest possible date.” A few weeks later, we confirmed our plans to build our first wholly owned and operated European production centre in Great Britain – Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) was born.

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1998: Production of Corolla begins at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK), alongside Avensis.

Around €3 billion was invested at the time to create both a car plant in England and an engine facility in north Wales, both of which came on stream in 1992. The first model to be built at the Burnaston fac- tory was the Carina E (the E standing for Europe). Within six years TMUK was also producing Corolla hatchbacks and became the home of our new flagship model for Europe, the Avensis. It also achieved its target of procuring 80 per cent of its parts and services from European suppliers.

Europe was changing too, with the launch of the European Union in 1993 and further moves towards establishing a single market. To adapt to the changing business environment, we reorganised our sales and marketing companies and our European offices under the umbrella of a new business, Toyota Motor Europe Manufacturing and Engineering, headquartered in Brussels.

We also worked to strengthen the links between Toyota Motor Corporation and the businesses manufacturing and marketing our cars in Europe. Strategic investment throughout the 1990s led to TMC having fully or partially-owned subsidiaries in all the major markets in the region, while setting up new distributors in important emerging markets in central and eastern Europe.

TMUK was at the start of a new period of expansion, with further manufacturing capacity added in 1994 with the founding of TOYOTASA (today known as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey), a joint venture for local production of the Corolla.

Our developing network of operations required additional support facilities, including an expanded parts hub and an accessory and service centre, both located in Belgium. In Paris, meanwhile, we opened a new showcase for our innovation and technology in 1998, Le Rendez-Vous Toyota on the famous Champs Elysées.

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1994: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey starts operations.
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1998: “Le Rendez-Vous Toyota” showroom opens in France.

As our European sales passed the half million mark that year, we further increased our manufacturing capacity with the launch of production centres in Poland, for transmissions, and in Valenciennes, France, for production of the hugely successful Yaris.

The foundation stone of Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s plant was laid in the 90s, and since its opening at the start of 2001 TMMF has continually improved its environmental performance to become our most sustainable factory in Europe and one of our global eco plants-factories that pioneer new and better environmental programmes. Launched as a “lean, clean industrial site for the 21st century that respects the environment,” it has introduced measures to progres- sively cut waste, reduce energy and water usage and capture renewable energy, for example with the installation of vast solar wall on the side of one of its buildings. The factory’s surroundings are also nurtured, promoting plant and wildlife to achieve the kind of natural diversity found in France’s national parks.

The 1990s were the decade when we invested in manufacturing in Europe, opening our first production plants in the region in the UK, followed by factories in France, Turkey, Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia. The cars we build in Europe now make up almost three in every four we sell here – a sign, too, that we are designing the kind of cars that meet the demands and tastes of European customers. This focus on “local” production also means we can reduce our environ- mental impact, as we have to make fewer long-distance shipments.

By the turn of the century we had achieved a complete transformation, from being a niche, Far Eastern business exporting small numbers of vehicles to having a significant local presence as a business building cars, investing in jobs, training and facilities across the region. We were putting into practice our philosophy of local production and realising the benefits it can bring in terms of quality, customer service, efficiency and reduced impact on the environment.

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1991: Toyota Motor Poland starts operations.
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1990: Lexus brand is launched in Europe.
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1990: N.V. Toyota Motor Europe Marketing & Engineering S.A. (TMME) begins operations in Belgium (formerly Toyota Motor Marketing Services Europe).
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1991: Toyota Motor Hungary established.
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1992: Start of production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing United Kingdom.
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1993: Opening of Toyota Parts Centre Europe (TPCE) in Diest, Belgium.
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1993: Opening of Toyota's European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
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1995: Toyota Accessory and Service Centre (TASC) opens in Belgium.
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1998: Sales in Europe top the half million mark.
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1999: Toyota Yaris voted European Car of the Year 2000.
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1999: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland established for production of transmissions.
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2000's

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The new millennium brought technology to keep everyone connected, at all times. Text messages, blogs, Facebook and Twitter let us share conversations, images and experiences at the touch of a few keys. And if you preferred to listen rather than talk, you could now fit a library of thousands of music tracks into the pocket of your jeans on a single digital device.

The hybrid revolution

This was the start of a technical revolution in the automotive world, too, as we brought our first hybrid production model to the European market.

In 2000, three years on from its debut in Japan, the original Prius arrived in Europe as a modest-looking sedan powered by a new powertrain that comprised both a conventional petrol engine and an electric motor. Unlike any other car on the market, Prius automatically switched between its different power sources, or used them in combination, to achieve the most efficient performance.

And as a “full” hybrid, it could use its electric motor alone, with zero fuel consumption and no tailpipe emissions.

In this way, Prius was true to the Latin roots of its name, being a car ahead of its time. We had actually been developing our hybrid technology since the 1960s, long before green issues became such a major cause of global concern and before the introduction of legislation to reduce greenhouse gases.

Our environmental vision and our early investment in research and development meant that by the time the Prius was ready to be marketed to our customers, we were completely confident in its quality and ability to deliver the performance we promised. The faith we had in Prius was reflected in the fact it was the first car in Europe to be sold with a five- year/100,000km warranty.

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Prius reaches Europe in 2000.

Of course this was just the start: the first-generation Prius had to introduce people to a new concept in motoring, which mean that its initial appeal was as a niche alternative to the conventional petrol and diesel models European customers knew and trusted.

Around 4,000 were sold before Prius was transformed in 2003 with the introduction of a second-generation version that combined more contemporary hatchback styling with significant gains in performance and efficiency. Fuel economy was better by 15 per cent at 4.3l/100km while CO2 emissions dropped to 104g/km. At the same time, motorists were becoming more keenly aware of the need to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy, and legislators across the continent began considering tax systems that favoured cleaner vehicles.

Where the original Prius created the hybrid vehicle market, its successor raised the profile of the technology and the model’s popularity. The role of the third generation Prius, launched in 2009, was to take hybrid into the mainstream. Power was one-third greater than in 2000, fuel consumption marked a 23 per cent improvement and CO2 levels fell below the 100g/km benchmark for the first time. These figures reflect how our commitment to continuously improving Prius’s environmental performance could deliver real benefits to society: a car that is easy to drive, practical to use, yet leading the way in the drive to reduce fuel consumption and cut carbon emissions.

Within the decade, Prius helped us change the motoring landscape and paved the way for the roll-out of hybrid technology to other model ranges – Yaris and Auris – that are built in Europe and positioned at the heart of our business. Prius also became a family of models in its own right, with the introduction in 2012 of the Prius+, the world’s first seven-seat full hybrid vehicle, and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid was also a world-first model, a car with a powerful lithium-ion battery that can be recharged using a simple plug-in connection to a power supply in the home, the workplace or public parking place. This allows for greater distances to be covered and higher speeds to be reached when driving on zero-emissions electric power, compared to the conventional Prius.

Europe was a key testing ground for the technology, with a public leasing programme launched in France in partnership with power generating firm EDF in 2007 – coincidentally the year we reached one million worldwide hybrid vehicle sales. The knowledge we gained during this and other trials worldwide played a vital role in ensuring the car we brought to market achieved the best possible performance. We were able to ensure the Prius Plug-in could cover the great majority of typical European urban commuting journeys on electric power alone, with no harmful tailpipe emissions and zero fuel consumption.

Prius has succeeded in transforming people’s understanding and acceptance of hybrid technology. Today it has become a familiar and popular choice for more and more people who appreciate not only its cleaner and more efficient performance, but also its smooth and sophisticated drive quality and its lasting reliability.

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2000: Opening of Toyota Design Development Centre (ED2) in the south of France.
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2000: “Engine of the Year” award for both Yaris and Prius, for the second year in a row.
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2001: First Yaris “made in Europe” comes off the assembly line in France at Toyota’s plant in Valenciennes.
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2001: New vehicle hub opened at Zeebrugge, Belgium.
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2002: Toyota sets up holding company in Europe: Toyota Motor Europe N.V./S.A.
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2003: UK made Toyota Avensis goes on sale in Japan.
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2005: Toyota/PSA Peugeot Citroën plant (TPCA) in Czech Republic begins production.
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2005: Toyota starts new diesel engine and transmission plant in Poland (TMMP).
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2005: Toyota begins new diesel engine production in Toyota Motor Industries Poland (TMIP).
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2006: One millionth Yaris built by Toyota in Europe.
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2007: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Russia begins production.
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2007: Toyota worldwide hybrid sales top 1 million units.
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2007: Toyota worldwide hybrid sales top 1 million units.
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2008: Worldwide Prius Sales top 1 million mark, with cumulative Prius sales in Europe accounting for 100,000 vehicles.
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2009: Toyota celebrates production of one-millionth vehicle in Turkey; kicks off production of new Toyota Verso.
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2009: Toyota to lease over 150 experimental PHVs in Europe.

2010's

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Our understanding of the world and its place in the universe has never been greater. The pioneering work at Europe‘s nuclear research centre has revealed secrets about the essential nature of matter, while space missions to Mars have found evidence of water on our nearest planetary neighbour. Advanced technologies have steadily moved out of the research laboratory and into our homes and workplaces, to make our lives safer, easier and more rewarding.

Mirai and the dawn of the hydrogen era

The automotive world is one area where scientific advances are most plain to see, in the development of vehicles that are kinder to the world around us. Sustainability and environmental concerns are at the heart of everything we do, so it is probably no surprise that we have continued to improve and adapt our hybrid technology to move closer to our goal of creating the ultimate eco-car.

The launch of the Mirai, Toyota’s first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, in 2015 marked another significant step in this journey. Driven by our commitment to the environment, we were researching how we could develop a zero emissions car as early as the 1990s. With the benefit of our success with hybrid, were able to use the principles of this technology to open up the potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source.

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2015: Europe welcomes the new Toyota Mirai, the world’s rst mass produced fuel cell sedan.

The Mirai is powered by electricity generated by an on-board fuel cell stack using hydrogen fuel. In fact the only by-product from the process is water.

Our intensive development programme has made the technology compact and lightweight, so that it can be contained with the dimensions of a conventionally-sized, four-door sedan, complete with a generous trunk. The designed-in practicality includes a driving range of around 500km on a full tank and a refuelling time at the pumps of less than five minutes – just like a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Of course people who drive Mirai or other fuel cell vehicles need convenient places to fill up. This means a new infrastructure for the distribution and sale of hydrogen fuel has to be set up. For this reason, we have introduced Mirai first in European markets where there is investment in providing this kind of network is under development – including the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. We are also working with our auto industry colleagues, fuel and energy businesses, governments and agencies to co-operate on developing a hydrogen infrastructure that can support increasing numbers of vehicles on the road.

Mirai has commanded a great deal of attention, not least from leading European politicians who believe in its potential to open up a new age of sustainable, zero emissions mobility. In fact we consider hydrogen to offer even greater opportunities, beyond transport, to provide society with a viable, cleaner and abundant future source of energy.

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2012: Europe’s rst production Prius Plug-In Hybrid delivered to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
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2012: A Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has set a new electric record on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.
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2014: “Cité lib by Ha:mo”, a new type of urban mobility based on ultra-compact electric vehicles connected to public transport, launches in Grenoble, France.
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2015: German driver becomes Toyota's millionth hybrid customer in Europe.
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2016: Toyota has just produced its 10 millionth car in Europe.
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2016: European-designed Toyota C-HR crossover is built in Europe at Toyota Motor
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Future

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Making ever-better cars

Our aim is to make ever-better cars, making constant improvements to create vehicles that are exciting and exhilarating to drive, but at the same time help people enjoy cleaner, safer, less stressful and more connected lives.

Our ideals and our pride in our manufacturing will continue to ensure that at every stage, from design, development and production through to customer use, our vehicles will be of the highest quality, durability and environmental performance.

Europe will continue to play a special role in Toyota’s worldwide activities, as emphasised by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda in the Toyota Global Vision announcement in 2011. This positioned Europe as the global planning centre for our small and medium-size vehicles – the A B and C market segments – to ensure we make cars that compete with the best from the region’s long-established, prestigious brands.

We want people to fall in love with driving again, so we will develop cars they want to own and drive, with bold, distinctive designs and enjoyable handling and performance.

We will continue to develop our alternative powertrains and identify new green technologies, sustaining our long and proud record of innovation that has brought hybrid to the mainstream market and delivered the Mirai, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell sedan. We will strive for even higher levels of safety, working towards the eventual elimination of traffic casualties through active and passive safety systems and intelligent new driver assistance concepts that can prevent accidents from happening.

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

Made in Europe - Discover our European-wide network of operations

Our European activities extend to every corner of the continent. They include manufacturing plants, logistics hubs, sales and marketing businesses, R&D facility, training and design centres, a world-class motorsports operation and thousands of local retailers.

Discover: Made in Europe

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