More fuel economy means more factory workers and more production for Toyota's most popular model in Europe. That simple equation explains why the Japanese automaker is boosting annual production of its gas- and hybrid-powered Yaris compact vehicles at its French factory. The new number will be about 222,000, a 15 percent increase. To do that, Toyota will need to add about 500 workers to bring its total there to more than 4,000, UK's The Green Car Website says. Vive le Toyota!
Toyota updated the European Yaris in the middle of 2011 and added a hybrid version later that year, the model has many fans across the pond. It helps that they hybrid is rated (using the friendlier European standards) at a whopping 81 miles per gallon, a tremendous number for a car that costs approximately $26,000. Toyota could soon have a bit more room in the small hybrid segment, since it was reported recently that Honda would discontinue European sales of its Insight and CR-Z hybrids soon. That decision was made easier because of increasing competition from Toyota, which boosted hybrid sales in Europe last year by 43 percent. In contrast, both the CR-Z and Insight experienced more than a 60-percent plunge in European sales in 2013.