Japanese carmaker, Toyota, is mulling manufacturing a hybrid version of its Auris hatchback in the UK, its first in Europe.
Japanese newspaper Nikkan Jidosha Shinbun said yesterday that the world's largest-selling automaker, which dethroned General Motor's 77-year run at the top, (See: Toyota overtakes GM's sales; emerges top auto seller in the world) would start making a hybrid version of its Auris hatchback model, in 2012.
Although the Auris hatchback is made in the UK at its Deeside plant and also in Turkey, the hybrid versions of the Pirus model are made only in the US and Japan, (See: Toyota to build the Prius in the US for the first time)
The proposed move by Toyota to make the UK as the production centre for the hybrid version of the Auris, will boost Britain's attempt to make itself as a European hub for production of "green" cars.
Auris is already being manufactured in the UK, in petrol and diesel-engine variants and sold 102,000 units last year in the country. The British government has also held talks with General Motors on the possibility of manufacturing its plug-in Volt car at its Ellesmere Port plant in the UK.
President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder, had said at a press conference last month that the company would increase production of the hybrid in Europe since the European environmental regulations have become stricter and the carmaker will gradually shift its focus to the hybrid segment.