Toyota has produced its one millionth vehicle in Turkey, a milestone that coincides with the start of production for the new third generation Toyota Verso.

The Adapazari-based Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) plant has produced over 430,000 Verso models since 2004 and plans to manufacture 55,000 units of the new model in its first full year of sales.

Launched at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, new Verso is a no-compromise MPV that offers more space, comfort and practicality, and benefits from the latest occupant and pedestrian safety features. Ride quality, acoustic comfort and dynamic abilities match those of conventional passenger cars.

Introducing Toyota Optimal Drive throughout the Verso range has returned increases in engine power of up to 20 per cent, while fuel economy and CO2 emissions show improvements of up to 12 per cent, compared to the current model.

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Speaking ahead of the event, Hiroyuki Ochiai, Executive Vice-President of Toyota Europe said: ‘Toyota's operations in Europe have benefited from an extremely rewarding partnership with Turkey. Thanks to the commitment of a highly-skilled local workforce, Toyota is now one of Turkey's biggest automotive exporters. This is a great achievement, and particularly significant in light of current, tough market conditions.'

TMMT produced its first Toyota vehicle in 1994 and today employs 3,000 workers. In addition to producing new Verso, the plant also manufactures the Toyota Auris. More than €1 billion has been invested in TMMT and the plant is one of nine Toyota manufacturing facilities located in Europe and Russia. In 2008, Toyota's operations in Turkey distributed 120,000 cars across Europe.