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Toyota Corolla successor to hit Europe early 2007

Chairman of the Board, Representative Director

Mr. Fujio Cho has been serving as Chairman of the Board and Representative Director of Toyota Motor Corporation since June 2006. He joined the Company... Full Bio

FRANKFURT, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote , NEWS , Research ) will seek to extend its sales rally in Europe by launching the Auris compact -- successor to its Corolla model -- early next year, the world's second biggest carmaker said on Monday.

"Designed and built in Europe, it will join the highly successful Toyota Yaris and Avensis in helping the company achieve its newly announced target of 1.2 million annual sales by 2008 (in Europe)", a Toyota statement said.

Toyota will unveil the hatchback at the Bologna car show in Italy on Dec. 5. A company spokesman declined to give details about pricing or sales forecasts before then.

The outgoing Corolla business will sell around 140,000 hatchbacks in Europe this year plus around 67,000 saloon versions and 24,000 estate cars, the spokesman said.

"With the launch of Auris we want to achieve a step-change not only in sales volume but also in terms of brand image for Toyota," said Toyota's European sales chief, Andrea Formica.

The Auris will compete in the key "C" segment of the European market against such cars as the Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: Quote , Profile , Research ) Golf, Opel/Vauxhall (GM.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) Astra, Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote , Profile , Research ) Stilo, Ford (F.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) Focus and Renault (RENA.PA: Quote , Profile , Research ) Megane.

The Auris will come as a three- or five-door hatchback with a choice of two gasoline and three diesel engines. Sales of the car in Japan started this week.

Toyota will definitely build the Auris in Britain but is still considering where else to make it, the spokesman said.


Toyota Corolla successor to hit Europe early 2007
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007