Dave Leggett | 19 April 2004
Adapazari? That's the place in Turkey where Toyota makes Corolla for the European market and I'm visting the place tomorrow for a ceremony marking the start of Corolla Verso output. The plant is important to Toyota - production capacity expands to 150,000 units per annum (from 100K) with the commencement of Corolla Verso production. Toyota proudly proclaims that all Corolla bodytypes are now designed and made in Europe - the Corolla hatchback is made in the UK, but sedan, wagon and MPV (Verso) are all made in Turkey.
Turkey is a cheap place to manufacture and exports from Turkey to the EU also do not attract the EU's 10% Common External Tariff (CET) applying to passenger vehicles. Should be interesting to have a look around and get Toyota's latest pronouncements. The Turkish prime minister is also speaking, I gather, so the operation must be seen as important to the Turks also.
But right now I have to get my skates on. A taxi is shortly coming to start my multi-modal trip to Istanbul. Azerbaijan Airlines beckons. The hotel that Toyota Europe is putting me up in sounds pretty good: on the banks of the Bosphorus and five-star. It's an 8:00am start tomorrow for the two-hour coach ride to the plant though. Better go easy on the cocktails tonight although after the lengthy journey, I'm sure to be in the mood.
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