When you have nothing else to do down the road and read Japanese car import statistics, and when you will see a small bump of imports from Europe to Japan, remember what you did read here. Toyota will start importing its UK-made Avensis to Japan, where it will go on sale on September 19 for 2.5 million yen ($31,000).
What will be shipped is the “estate” (wagon) version. Toyota exports 85 percent of the cars it makes at its UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside, and Japan will join the 47 countries worldwide that gets them.
The Avensis is a Volkswagen Passat / Opel Isignia / Ford Mondeo sized car. Japan will take it in the in the Xi trim with the 2 liter 3ZR-FAE Valvematic engine with 152 hp and a Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) transmission.
A previous gen Avensis had already been exported to Japan.
To buy a British pound takes only 128 Japanese yen today, half of what it did cost pre-2008. The only thing Toyota Japan and Toyota UK have to agree on is the volume. The European release says “the vehicles will be shipped from the UK at a rate of 750 vehicles a month”, whereas the Japanese release is a bit more conservative and estimates 300 units a month. As long as the yen stays high and the pound affordable, the Japanese estimate will remain conservative.
Still, Toyota has a lot of catching up to do. The number one importer to Japan is Nissan.