Your Next Toyota Yaris Will Be French

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The folks at Toyota have been complaining about the low euro and the strong yen long enough. Now, they are putting the low Euro to work. Starting in May 2013, Toyota will ship its Toyota Yaris from Toyota’s Onnaing-Valenciennes plant in France to the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The cars will be built to North American specs, with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, automatic transmission, will have FMVSS compliant bumpers, et al. Those who expect the hybrid Yaris exported from Europe will be disappointed.

“Only petrol versions of Yaris will be exported to North America,” a Toyota spokesman said. The annual export volume is planned at around 25,000 units.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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6 of 28 comments
  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jun 22, 2012

    A cratering Euro, while no doubt bad for Europeans (come December, Greeks may be starving), could be an excellent opportunity to pick up a $30-$35K 328i or 335i. Or, does the new D-Mark rise, Phoenix-like, and become equal to $1.50? Interesting times...

  • Gasser Gasser on Jun 23, 2012

    So let me get this right. Japanese cars are built by the French. German cars are built in Eastern Europe or South Africa. American Fords are built in Mexico. Korean cars are built in U.S. Obviously EVERYTHING I learned in the '60s about cars is completely outdated and wrong.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jun 23, 2012

    Built by robot all over.

  • Tedward Tedward on Jun 26, 2012

    Well they need to do something. Everyone holds up Asian companies as the epitome of cost efficient manufacturing but right now (and for several years now) I see higher prices for lesser to equal parts content vs. cars produced in this hemisphere. Look at my Honda Fit, absolute bottom of the barrel tech content at nearly VW Golf prices. It has no features, drivetrain technology that was industry standard in the early 90's, a low gear count, and a decidedly in-expensive feeling selection of interior trim materials (I still like the car, I'm just trying to be honest about why I like it, and not a fanboy). When I heard that they actually loose money on that car it really struck me as significant. I had always assumed that they were overcharging based on reputation (mirroring the used market for Hondas and Toyotas), but if that's not the case then they might be in far more trouble than the rise of Kia/Hyundai would indicate. I'm thinking GM levels of internal waste, dead weight and inertia.