Toyota has built the 500,000th vehicle at its plant in Adapazari, Turkey.

The Corolla Verso came off the line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey's (TMMT) line in front of the usual gathering of representatives from government, local communities, suppliers and Toyota executives from Japan and Europe.

TMMT, which was Turkey's leading exporter in 2004, manufactures the Corolla Verso (a seven-seat minivan), sedan and wagon models and has maximum annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. It employs 3,500 people and represents an investment of €730mn.

TMMT expects to export approximately 140,000 vehicles to Europe in 2005, with an export value of over US$2bn - making TMMT Turkey's leading exporter for the year again.

This year, Toyota plans to produce 635,000 cars, 541,000 engines and 259,000 transmissions in Europe and sell 980,000 vehicles - which would mark the company's eighth consecutive year of record sales.

It currently has eight manufacturing plants in six countries across Europe.