Toyota starts exporting Yaris from France to North America

Article by Anita Panait, on May 17, 2013

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.

Since the first Toyota Yaris was launched in Europe in 1999, each of the car’s successive generations has been developed according to the key “compact outside, roomy inside” principle. And as a testament to the first two generations of Yaris’ packaging ingenuity, the car earned the nickname of "Piccolo Genio" or “Little Genius.”

Now on its third generation, the Toyota Yaris has inherited its predecessors’ clever packaging DNA, while its exterior showcases a bolder, more appealing, more elegant, and more dynamic design execution that befits a European compact car.

The overall length of the new Toyota Yaris is now 3,885 mm, reflecting a 100-mm increase from the earlier version. With the B-segment having an average vehicle length of 4 meters, the new Toyota Yaris is still one of its class’ most compact vehicles. This is reflected in the car’s class-leading turning circle of only 4.7 m, making it particularly agile for city driving.

Moreover, the new Yaris has a width of 1,695 mm, which is similar to the width of its predecessor, while its height is 1,510 mm, lower by 20 mm. These proportions give the new Yaris a lower center of gravity, as well as a more sporting stance. Meanwhile, the car’s wheelbase, which represents a 50-mm increase, together with the short overhangs at the front and rear and its prominent wheel arches, contribute to its agility, stability, and dynamism.

Furthermore, the new Yaris boasts a bold frontal treatment, which identifies it as the first car to feature the next-generation Toyota family’s new face. A change in the car’s upper and lower grille proportions, with emphasis on enlarging the lower grille, is also key to its new frontal styling.

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