Toyota today officially celebrated the start of manual transmission production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland Sp. z o.o. (TMMP) in Walbrzych, Dolnoslaskie, Poland.

The opening of TMMP – Toyota#;s first European transmission plant – marks another step in the company#;s policy of increasing local production to support its growth plans for Europe.

TMMP was established in September 1999 and has been manufacturing manual transmissions since April of this year for the Yaris built at TMMF in France.

It will eventually make transmissions for the Corolla and Avensis produced by TMUK in the UK and the Corolla made by TMMT in Turkey, for a total annual capacity of 250,000 units.

This will grow to 550,000 units when TMMP expands production, as announced in March this year, to include, from the end of 2004, 300,000 manual transmissions and 250,000 one-litre petrol engines for the new subcompact cars to be made by the joint venture Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) plant from 2005.

Total investment will be 400 million euros, and the number of employees at full production is expected to be around 1,000.

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“We have positioned TMMP as a unit production base for our European operations and envision its further development and evolution,” said TMC president Fujio Cho.

During the ceremony, TMC announced the donation of two UK-built Avensis cars to the Walbrzych city government.