Travelling to Copenhagen, my first trip to Denmark, or anywhere in Scandinavia for that matter, to try Toyota’s latest Yaris was a nice start to the week. After a difficult couple of years, there’s a product-led air of optimism at Toyota Europe.

The redone G3 Yaris, a little less characterful than its predecessors, is much improved in terms of interior quality and comes with more equipment, specially Toyota Touch audio/phone/satnav and a glass sunroof and, in Europe, has ditched automated-manual for a ‘proper’ torque converter CVT automatic which apparently has London-area dealers swooning with delight. Rest of world still gets the larger 1.5 petrol (we have the 1.3) and a four-speed epicyclic auto but the CVT has the advantage of lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the manual. Now the trick is to sell the richer models, making more profit in the process.

Toyota people are expecting a busy 2012 – upcoming new models include an updated Avensis line, the new Lexus GS and whatever they end up calling the FT86 concept-based new sportscar (Celica apparently ruled out but lips were sealed) – partner Subaru this week named theirs. There’ll also be the hybrid Yaris, a segment first, with CO2 emissions of 84g, it was hinted.

Toyota, slowly getting over recall scandals and the effects of the March earthquake, also launched the new Camry this week. The car disappeared from Europe at least two generations ago – it is built and sold in Russia – but G8 will nonetheless continue to sell in the squillions – it’s been the top-seller in the US for most of the last decade, is built in numerous other countries, including China, and is a company-car staple in, and export from Australia.

Still on Toyota, the company announced a hybrid collaboration with Ford and VW finally revealed the production Up, which is much watered down from the 2007 Frankfurt concept.

With 29 August looming, that was the date they hoped production could restart, we looked for good news from Saab but, sadly, came reports that August pay for staff will be delayed.

Here in the UK, we are about to enter the final bank holiday weekend of the summer and the year so, of course, it’s raining. We’ll see you again on Tuesday.

Enjoy your weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,