Toyota's Paris surprise is five-seat Auris Tourer which will complement seven-seat Verso. Toyota Europe has not sold a C-segment wagon to rival the likes of Ford's Focus and GM's Astra since the Corolla wagon made way for the Turkish-built Verso
The 175,000-unit annual capacity at Toyota's Burnaston factory, near Derby in central England, might not be enough to meet demand for the recently facelifted Avensis and the redesigned Auris, unveiled in Paris, according to Toyota Motor Europe (TME) head Didier Leroy.
The plant currently operates on two shifts and the company is looking at various ways to increase capacity.
"We could have more than two shifts, we don't know. We're looking at how to increase capacity," said Leroy.
Sales in the UK will top 100,000 this year, he said, up from 90,000 last year. Sales in Europe will also grow for the third successive year, reaching more than 830,000 from some 808,000 in 2010.
The C segment is "the new centre of gravity" for TME, with the new Auris joining a mid-life-facelift Verso, Leroy said, adding: "I really expect customers to share our passion for this car."
Design, quality and driving dynamics are all a major step forward from the previous model, he said.
Toyota Europe is growing and growing profitably, said Leroy. While last year's profit was due to financial services, this year both that and the automotive business will make money.
Toyota Europe is also moving to a position where it will be able to define and develop Toyota's next generation of A, B, and C models, he said, adding the company is looking to increase its 500 R&D staff to achieve that.