Toyota Motor Corp. has commenced exporting its Yaris compact cars to customers from France to North America. According to the Japanese carmaker, it planned to export around 25,000 petrol versions of the Yaris from its Onnaing site in France to the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico every year.
Toyota Motor Europe chief executive Didier Leroy said in a statement that there are many reasons to preserve production of compact cars in France, adding that all partners has to work together to maintain the competitive advantage of Toyota Motor Manufacturing France.
The Yaris accounted for almost 22 percent of Toyota's total sales in Europe last year at 182,841 vehicles. The Japanese carmaker said the production of the North America-bound Yaris started on May 6, 2013 in France.
Toyota's plan, announced in June 2012, followed decision by fellow Japanese carmakers Honda Motor, Nissan Motor Co and Mazda Motor Corp to build plants in Mexico to build vehicles for North America, allowing them to cut loss-making exports from Japan.
French carmakers Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen are also trying to trim costs to offset effects of excessive capacity and weak demand in Europe.
Renault wants to trim its workforce in France by 7,500 jobs by 2016 and has struck a nationwide deal on pay and working conditions. On the other hand, PSA is cutting over 10,000 local jobs and is shutting down an assembly plant near Paris.