Production of the Toyota C-HR crossover was officially launched today at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) in Sakarya, Turkey. The Toyota C-HR became the eighth model currently produced in Europe and enters the C-segment with a fresh new take on the crossover. The new model is the third hybrid car produced in Europe, together with the Yaris Hybrid in France and the Auris and Auris Touring Sports hybrids in the UK.
“The Toyota C-HR is a hugely important product for the whole of Toyota, not just for TMMT. The crossover segment is growing fast. This car is Toyota’s very strong entry to this segment,” said Dr Van Zyl, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) President and CEO, during the line-off ceremony at TMMT.
TMMT will add the Toyota C-HR to its current production of the Corolla and the Verso, on the same line. It is the first hybrid-powered vehicle to be produced in Turkey. “Hybrid defines Toyota. Since the first Prius in 1997 we have steadily convinced more and more customers around the world that hybrid vehicles are one of the best solutions to today’s environmental issues. We have sold more than 9.5 million hybrids globally,” said Moritaka Yoshida, President of the Mid-size Vehicle Company within Toyota Motor Corporation, who was on hand at the line-off ceremony at TMMT today.
The Toyota C-HR is the first Toyota car outside Japan to be manufactured based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). “TNGA is our new philosophy of vehicle creation and part of our initiatives for building ever-better cars. Toyota will gradually expand the production of vehicles based on TNGA,” added Moritaka Yoshida.
With the Toyota C-HR the total production capacity for TMMT will increase from 150 to 280 thousand vehicles per year. TMMT has hired an additional 2000 new members in the months leading up to the start of production. The total number of employees is now around 5000. Production has been organised in three shifts. The additional plant investment at TMMT is around 350 million euros, taking the cumulative investment in the plant to 1.7 billion euros since it started operations in 1994.
TMMT, which already exports around 80% of its production to Europe, will gradually expand its export destinations outside Europe to include the USA, Canada, Taiwan, Mauritius and South Africa.
“It is a great privilege for us to export to North America, because it is Toyota’s biggest market and our customers there expect a lot from Toyota in terms of quality, customer satisfaction, and connection to the brand,” said Dr van Zyl. “TMMT has been one of our best plants globally for many years when it comes to build quality, and I am very confident our members there will exceed our North American customers’ expectations,” he added.
European collaboration and increased local production
The Toyota C-HR is also the fruit of the collaboration of several European production sites of Toyota and of suppliers based in Europe.
The newest 1.8 hybrid powertrain for the crossover is being produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK)’s engine plant in Deeside, North Wales. An additional 7.1 million GBP was invested in the facility and new equipment.
The third of Toyota’s European manufacturing site engaged in Toyota C-HR production is Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) located in Walbrzych, Poland. The plant will supply manual transmissions for the 1.2 litre turbo engine model. In addition TMMP will start production of the hybrid transaxle in 2018, which is currently being made in Japan.
European suppliers make up the bulk of the individual parts sourced to make the Toyota C-HR. Of the 135 suppliers making parts for the new crossover, 134 are based in Europe, of which 71 are located in Turkey.
With the addition of Toyota C-HR to its line-up of European-produced vehicles, the ratio of locally-produced Toyota brand vehicles sold in Europe will surpass 75% on a full production year basis.