Located in Onnaing, near the town of Valenciennes, the investment will allow the manufacturing site to host the TNGA platform, which seeks to expand production capacity, as well as the production of a new vehicle in addition to the Yaris model. The plant currently employs around 4,000 people and another 700 jobs are expected to be generated.

The Japan headquartered automotive manufacturer says the site will be progressively modernised with new equipment, technologies and systems to prepare for the introduction of the TNGA platform in the coming months.

“This announcement is an encouraging sign of continued expansion of our operations in France and Europe. In 2017, Yaris, which received the “France Origin Guarantee” label in 2012, was once again the most produced model in France. I am fully convinced that this decision will contribute to strengthening Yaris’ position at the heart of the Toyota range in Europe”, said Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Europe.

French state services and local authorities are said to have contributed to the investment through support for training, innovation and improving the environmental performance of the site.

Toyota says it has launched a global programme for the progressive modernisation of its manufacturing sites to produce new generation vehicles based on the TNGA platform. The new Prius and Prius Rechargeable fourth generation, as well as the C-HR crossover are already produced from the TNGA platform

Inaugurated in 1999, Toyota’s Onnaing plant has produced over three million vehicles (as of June 2016). More than 230,000 Yaris left assembly lines in 2017, meaning 1,020 units daily.