Valenciennes Toyota plant: what crisis?
05 Jun 2013 | A region on the move, Mobility
We told you about it last year, and production of the USA version of the Toyota has just started up at the Valenciennes plant. This plant escaped the crisis by optimizing its industrial organization, working its way up to become the fourth-largest automobile production plant in France.
Toyota's good numbers
Last month the Valenciennes Toyota plant started mass production of its Yaris intended for export to the United States. This production shift is aimed at protecting the group from a yen exchange rate and energy costs that are too high. This is a welcome outlet for the plant, which will be the only one in France aside from the Smart plant producing for the American market.
For the Valenciennes plant, 2012 was a very good year (given the worldwide economic crisis), with a 34% hike in production and 200,800 vehicles produced. It is now the fourth-largest automobile production plant in France, ahead of the five Renault plants. Good results boosted by the hybrid model's success In 2012, with just six months of marketing, 25,600 Yaris hybrids were sold in Europe -- 14% of the model's sales. Since the start of the year, the Valenciennes plant has been producing the same volume of cars with two shifts instead of three in 2012, at 800 cars a day.
“It's a major event for us,” according to Didier Leroy, president of Toyota Europe. “We've become the first of the Group's plants outside Japan to produce cars for the American market. From our viewpoint, it's an obvious sign of confidence on the part of the group's Japanese management in our competitiveness. Yes, it's possible to export small, mid-range cars manufactured in France to the United States!”
Furthermore, Toyota's commitment to its French operations was recognized by the Minister for Productive Recovery, Arnaud Montebourg, who applied the “Guaranteed Made in France” label to the Japanese manufacturer. After Häagen-Dazs ice cream made in Arras, we now have the first French car to bear the “French Quality Image” around the world.