The group increases the pace at Valenciennes, where the Yaris ‘green’ will be manufactured.
Pioneer in this field with the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota launched this weekend’s hybrid Yaris in Europe. This is the first time that marketed a small car with this technology. The bet is daring, because the hybrid, which uses a gasoline engine and another powered by electricity, is an expensive solution.And its cost seems more difficult to sell to consumers in the niche of urban, particularly price sensitive.
“Our goal with the Yaris hybrid is to make this technology available to as many people, the largest segment in Europe,” said Pascal Ruch, CEO of Toyota France. The manufacturer’s target buyers of small diesel cars, looking for fuel efficient vehicles. This model consumes only 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers and emits only 79 grams of CO2 per kilometer .
If the Yaris hybrid, proposed from 16,500 euros (after deduction of a bonus of 2,000 euros), still more expensive than the base diesel version of this model (15,800 euros), it costs 700 euros less at level finish equivalent. According to the manufacturer, the purchase of this technology will become comparatively more attractive in the future. “The pressure from European authorities will be increasingly high on pollution from diesel engines, including new standards in 2014, which will lead to rate increases,” said Pascal Ruch. Diesel, which releases fine particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx), has just been declared a carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
On a small car market very sluggish in Europe, Toyota expects to sell 185,000 Yaris this year, including 25,000 hybrid, and 200,000 copies in 2013, including 40,000 hybrid.
The Valenciennes site, which manufactures all Yaris (the latest generation of the thermal model was released in September), has recruited 700 temporary workers to increase production, fell to 150,000 cars in 2011. The anticipated volumes will however not enough to run at full capacity the plant Nordic, whose capacity stands at 270,000 copies.
On the Yaris hybrid, full-year forecast “allow us to make money on this model, although will not be much,” said Pascal Ruch. The group, which recently passed the 4 million mark hybrids sold worldwide, explains indeed benefit from economies of scale. “We will sell over a million hybrid cars worldwide this year, “says the boss of Toyota France, against 629,000 last year.
Toyota, which has 18 models of this type, in particular created a range of four Prius and pulled out a Auris hybrid on the Old Continent.
Proof of the supremacy of the technology from Toyota, the Prius was ranked in the first quarter on the third step of best-selling models in the world. Sales in Europe remains limited, due to competition from diesel. The Japanese giant has elapsed than 26,500 hybrids in the first four months of the year on the Old Continent, including 2,800 in France. It provides that such cars will represent 14% of its volumes this year in Europe and 19% in France.