Toyota has already made it abundantly clear the company intends to scale back production in Japan in an attempt to combat the ever-strengthening Yen, and now it looks as if we know one of the ways the automaker plans to do so. Toyota has announced it will manufacture U.S. and Canadian-spec Yaris models in its Onnaing-Valenciennes facility in France. The plant has been producing the Yaris hatchback for European buyers since 2001, though this marks the first time in Toyota history that the automaker has built a vehicle in Europe and imported the model to the States.
North American-spec Yaris models differ slightly from their European counterparts. In addition to using different fascia designs front and rear, the NA model comes available with an automatic transmission and a market-specific 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. There is some differentiation in safety equipment between the two models as well.
Japanese automakers have recently revealed that building cars in Japan and exporting them around the globe is quickly becoming a money-losing proposition. Honda has made it clear the company is seeking alternatives to producing models like the Fit and CR-Z in Japan due to the high costs associated with exporting the vehicles.