Hürriyet – The 11th generation of the Japanese car maker’s most popular sedan has left the assembly line for the first time at the company’s plant in Sakarya, Turkey. The company invested EUR 150 million in the plant to manufacture the new Corolla, creating 900 new jobs in the process.
The line-off ceremony, attended by the Turkish Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan; the Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Nihat Ergun; Toyota Chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada; Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe, Takeshi Numa; and Toyota Turkey President and CEO, Orhan Ozer, marked the popular sedan’s return to the Adapazari plant after a period of 7 years.
"The new Corolla, which has been reborn with styling that is more refined and more luxurious, is the new global symbol for our efforts to make ever-better cars. I am very proud that the European version of the new Corolla will call Sakarya its home. Let us continue to write the Corolla's history..", said Toyota Chairman, Uchiyamada, at the ceremony.
Also speaking at the event, Turkey’s Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Nihat Ergun, asked the Japanese company to consider designing and manufacturing a new vehicle in Turkey.
“I believe a new model called ‘Toyota Sakarya’ would be successful both in the domestic market and abroad. Turkey’s automotive industry can be manufacturing 4 million vehicles in 10 years from now, with a third of it being exported.” Ergun said, adding that Turkey was placing special emphasis on the design and manufacture of hybrid and electric vehicles.
“Turkey is well-positioned in this regard and open to cooperation with Toyota or any other brand in establishing a research and development center related to hybrid vehicle technologies. ”, the Minister remarked.
Toyota Turkey will mainly supply the company’s European markets with the new Corolla and revamped Verso at a rate of 180,000 vehicles a year. Toyota’s local plant in Turkey had been manufacturing Auris and Verso models up until the Japanese company’s decision to replace the Auris with the new Corolla in 2011. The Toyota plant in Turkey produced over a million vehicles, the majority being several models of Corolla, between the years 1994-2006.
The company’s total investments in Turkey amount to EUR 1.4 billion.