Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) has increased production capacity of its Yaris plant in the north of France to 184,000 units annually, up from 150,000 units.

The capacity increase involves an additional investment of some €100 million, and the creation of another 300 jobs. Now, 2,500 Toyota employees build 798 cars daily at the Valenciennes plant.

This means that a Yaris rolls off the production line every minute. The production capacity increase is in response to the ongoing sales success of the 'supermini' throughout Europe. A total of 725,626 have been sold in Europe since its launch in 1999.

The engine assembly plant at Valenciennes began operations on April 25, 2002, and will assemble 150,000 petrol engines and 30,000 diesel engines annually by 2003.

By 2004, Toyota will be in a position to build over 500,000 vehicles, 830,000 engines and 550,000 transmissions per year in Europe, at its production sites in France, the UK, Poland and Turkey.