Toyota to Export Ist to Europe, Halt Avensis Imports


Toyota Motor in 2008 will start exporting the ist subcompact car to Europe and halt imports of the Avensis midsize car from the UK to Japan, to deal with the strength of the euro and the sterling against the yen, the Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

Japan's largest automaker launched the fully redesigned ist in Japan in July and has started selling the car as a new model under the Scion brand in the US.

The company now plans to launch the car there around October 2008 because the weaker yen against the euro enables the company to secure enough profit margin despite export costs, the business daily said, without citing sources.

Toyota intends to export around 15,000 ists a year to Europe, it said.

The automaker, which sells only gasoline-engine models in Japan and the US, may release diesel-engine version of the ist in Europe. At the same time, Toyota will stop importing the Avensis from Europe in 2008 to deal with dwindling sales and the British currency, the Nikkei said.