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Toyota to build second European plant in northern France

December 3, 1997

PARIS (AP) _ Toyota has decided to build its second European plant in the northern French city of Valenciennes, France’s finance minister said Wednesday.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn confirmed a report by the newspaper La Tribune that Toyota’s board of directors made the decision Tuesday to build the plant, which will initially create 2,000 jobs and 1,000 more by 2005.

Toyota expects to begin production at the plant in 2001.

Toyota’s investment plans have been well known, with Strauss-Kahn saying a week ago that he was confident that the project would go ahead. The plant would be a badly needed boost for the French economy, plagued by 12.5 percent unemployment.

Toyota will invest 3.5 billion francs, or 590 million, in the first phase, with public funding representing up to 25 percent of the figure. France’s central government will invest 30 million francs, or $5 million, La Tribune reported Wednesday.

The plant is to produce 100,000 vehicles annually in 2001 and double its output by 2005. The first Toyota plant in Europe, located in Burnaston in northwest England, produces 117,000 Carina models. Production there is scheduled to increase to 120,000 this year and to 200,000 next year.

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