While the big news of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show was the launch of the new Toyota Aygo, we also took the opportunity to speak to some of the assembled executives from Toyota Europe to find out how the company is doing in Europe.
Despite the wider economy, 2013 was a very good year for Toyota, marking the brand’s third year of growth. Sales of both Toyota and Lexus models amounted to almost 850,000, contributing to a 4.7 per cent share of the European market.
The biggest driver of that growth was the Toyota Hybrid line-up. One in five Toyotas sold were hybrids, a 43 per cent increase over the year before. In western Europe that mix was even higher – nearly one in three, making Toyota the undisputed leader in sustainable mobility in Europe.
Toyota’s primary focus in this area has been within the B- and C-segments. Yaris Hybrid was added to the B-segment, and this helped Yaris secure a position as the tenth best-selling nameplate in western Europe. Such was the demand for Yaris that a third shift was introduced at the Valenciennes factory in France to increase production by 15 per cent.
With the new Auris and Auris Touring Sports, Toyota has completely renewed its presence in the important C-segment. This has resulted in Auris becoming the fastest-growing nameplate among Europe’s top sellers, securing it a solid number five position within the segment.
Meanwhile, within the UK, 2013 was notable for providing the original Aygo with its best-ever sales figures. However, with the July launch of the new second-generation Aygo, we expect Toyota’s 2014 sales figures to make even more encouraging reading.