• Annual export of around 25,000 Toyota Yaris vehicles starting from May 2013
  • Export market includes United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • First–ever Europe-built Toyota model export to North America
  • Strong yen behind the shift of some manufacturing out of Japan  

Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) has announced that from May 2013, it will start building its Toyota Yaris compact car for export to the North American markets of US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The annual export volume is planned to be around 25,000 units. The Yaris sold in North America is currently sourced from Japan, so the move reflects ongoing efforts to mitigate the adverse currency effects arising from the strong yen.

“We are very proud to have been selected as the main source of Yaris for North American markets,” said Makoto Sano, President of TMMF. “This is not only an endorsement of the quality of the cars built by our team members here at TMMF, but it’s also a significant new business opportunity for our factory and further strengthens TMMF’s position as an important exporter in France.”

Toyota said that building the Yaris for customers across North America will represent an additional investment of EUR8m at TMMF. This investment is required to build the car to the specific requirements of the new market, including the installation of a North American specific 1.5-litre petrol engine, automatic transmission, differences in the rear bumper, as well as other items linked to specific local regulations. Only petrol versions of Yaris will be exported to North America.

Toyota Motor Europe President and CEO Didier Leroy said: “The export of one of our global models produced in Europe reinforces our commitment to European manufacturing in-line with our global vision which empowered us to take the lead in the development of small and medium sized cars.” He added: “Building on 10 years of experience and accumulated knowhow, in addition to producing the full hybrid variant of the Toyota Yaris, the export of the conventional petrol Yaris to North America further endorses TMMF as a true global player within the Toyota organisation.”

The current generation Toyota Yaris was launched in Europe in the summer of 2011, followed by the Toyota Yaris Hybrid in June 2012. Sales of the Yaris in Europe between January and May this year saw a year-on-year increase of 22%.