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News of  May 16, 2000


Toyota Opens Design Center in Côte d'Azur
Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) held a grand ceremony today to mark the opening of Toyota Europe Design Development S.A.R.L (ED2) in Côte d'Azur, France, the new home of Toyota's European design efforts.

ED2 President and TMC Executive Vice President Shinichi Kato, in addressing the roughly 100 guests at the event, renewed Toyota's commitment to the European market by explaining how Toyota plans to implement what it has learned about European tastes during the 10-year experience of EPOC* (Europe Office of Creation), a design operation under the wing of N.V. Toyota Motor Europe Marketing and Engineering S.A. in Belgium.

"At ED2 we would like to utilize the experiences gained from EPOC to generate many outstanding new designs at Sophia Antipolis (Science Park; the site of the new operation) with its creative environment. We aim to provide cars that will satisfy European customers, as well as customers around the world who prefer European design," Kato said, singling out the Yaris and Yaris Verso, winners of the European Car of the Year in 2000 award, as examples of Toyota's understanding of European values.

French Ambassador at Large for Foreign Investments Didier Lombard and ED2 Vice President Tadao Otsuki also spoke at the ceremony.

To express TMC's appreciation to the government of Nice and local companies for the magnificent cooperation they provided during the construction of ED2, Toyota presented the local city of Biot with a Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, which is slated for its European launch this fall. *The opening of ED2 effectively marks the full integration of EPOC into the new design facility.

Outline of ED2

  • Name Toyota Europe Design Development S.A.R.L.
  • Location Sophia Antipolis Science Park, Côte d'Azur, France
  • President Shinichi Kato (also TMC Executive Vice President)
  • Establishment November 1998
  • Investment About 2.1 billion yen (approximately FFr90 million)
  • Equity participation 100% by TMC
  • Building floor area Approximately 5,700 m2 (Total site area: about
  • 39,000 m2)
  • Business Design development (exterior design, interior design, color
  • design), model production and design survey
  • Start of operation February 2000
  • No. of employees 30

(May 9, 2000)


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