Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) has begun production of the Yaris Hybrid with the first car off the line destined for a customer in northern France.

TMMF is now the first French and first European automotive manufacturing facility to produce full hybrid vehicles for the B-segment. The launch is part of Toyota ’s European strategy to offer full hybrid variants for its entire model range by the 2020s.

TMMF president, Makoto Sano, told employees at a ceremony: “We are proud to starting building the first full hybrid model in the B-segment in Europe. Furthermore, we are committed to bringing the highest level of quality to our customers. Having the model produced here, also means a brighter future for TMMF and the Valenciennes region. With petrol prices increasing ever more, we believe that we have the perfect fuel efficient product for the urban customer in this segment.”

The Yaris hybrid has a newly downsized Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system, specifically designed to offer the same rear passenger occupancy space and boot capacity as the standard powertrain model.

Its CO2 emissions of 79 g/km in the European combined cycle and its fuel consumption of 3.1 l/100km in the urban cycle set new benchmarks in the B-segment.

TMMF, based in Valenciennes, has been the home of the European Yaris since 2001. The factory built its 2.1 millionth unit on 1 April.

The production line was altered to accommodate the new transmission, braking systems, inverter mount and battery installation. Further investment was also made for stamping tools. Staff members were also trained to operate high voltage components safely.

Toyota spent about EUR25m to prepare TMMF for the new hybrid, brining the total spend to EUR 125m for the launch of the third generation Yaris.

To date, Toyota has sold over 400,000 full hybrid vehicles in Europe.

Its English plant in Derbyshire builds the C-segment Auris (Corolla) hybrid hatchback.

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