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Toyota Avensis wagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

Importing Toyotas to Japan may seem like selling ice to the Eskimos, but that's precisely what's in store. In fact, it's Toyota itself that will be bringing the Avensis back to its home market from its global assembly plant in the UK.

Demand for European cars in Japan has got Toyota cashing in on the game, exporting as many as 750 units of the Avensis back to the home country. Since the Avensis holds a similar position to the JDM Toyota Mark X, which is available only as a sedan, Toyota will only be offering the Avensis wagon back in Japan, packing a 2.0-liter four mated to a CVT.

Japan, of course, will only be the latest market in which the British-built Avensis will be sold, joining a list of 47 countries worldwide to which some 85% of the units built at the Derbyshire plant are exported. Unfortunately, the United States isn't one of 'em, so for those who may want a closer look, we've put together a fresh high-res image gallery for your viewing pleasure.
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The Toyota Avensis, built exclusively at Toyota's UK factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, is to be exported to Japan. The launch of the third-generation Avensis in Toyota's "home" market later this year further strengthens the performance of the UK plant, which already ships the model to 47 countries worldwide.

The news has been welcomed by the Government as an endorsement of British manufacturing skills and quality. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Toyota exports 85 per cent of the car and engines it makes at its UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside. Today's news that it will now export its Avensis model to Japan is a tribute to the skills of the workforce, the efficiency of the plants and the quality of its products. I was delighted to meet Fujio Cho, Chairman of Toyota when I visited Japan recently and I highlighted the importance of manufacturing in the UK."

Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd Managing Director Katsunori Kojima said: "We are very proud that the Avensis has been selected for export to Japan. This is yet another vote of confidence for the factory and the high quality of our products."

Demand for European styling and engineering from Japanese customers has prompted Toyota's decision to introduce Avensis to the home market. The Tourer estate car versions will be offered, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with Multidrive S continuously variable transmission (CVT) for fuel efficient, low emissions performance. The cars will be shipped from the UK at a rate of 750 vehicles a month with production commencing in July.

The Toyota Avensis was introduced in 1997. By the end of 2010, more than 1.8 million Avensis vehicles had been built – all at Burnaston – for sale in the UK, Europe and other markets worldwide.

Together with Toyota's other European production centres, the UK factory has succeeded in returning quickly to the production levels and operating hours that were in place prior to the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March. The additional exports to Japan will reinforce its performance and its position as one of Toyota's most efficient and advanced factories. The factory also builds Auris hatchback models and has the distinction of being the first factory in Europe to mass produce a full hybrid model, the Auris Hybrid. To date Toyota has invested over £1.85 billion in its UK manufacturing operations since being established in 1992.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sure looks more useful than the hideous Venza we're stuck with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a slick looking car.
      Brian E Parker
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does AB not recall that Honda imported US built Accord coupes and wagons to Japan in the early '90's? Nothing new here...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Brian E Parker
        Also, the Toyota Voltz was built as a Japan-only model at the old NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA
      • 4 Years Ago
      How or why is the importation of a mere 750 units of a UK-built car really news? Car companies do this all the time, so why is this really all that different? GM was exporting the Saturn Sky to Europe as the Opel GT. Now more recently it imports the Buick Regal into the US (or I believe it did for the initial batch of cars, but probably builds them here now). Spare factory capacity in one location can keep the market's demand in another.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its really about 1 or 2 shifts of production. Probably has some niche feature that they don't want to tool up in Japan to make (like being a wagon).
      • 4 Years Ago
      awesome now they can experiance unexplained acceleration + ghost window regulators in the same car!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I see nothing particularly lust worthy about the Avensis, but it does look better than the Venza to my eyes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Trust me, you're not missing out on anything. The Avensis is an appliance not a car, feels like it's made of tin and has the crappiest interior in its class over here, incredibly cheap plastics.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Brit here. Every time I see one of those on the road I cringe. It's not an attractive car in the flesh. At all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is nothing new for Toyota. They once exported second-generation Avalons from the US to Japan, where it was called the "Toyota Pronard". Toyota also currently exports US-made Sequoias to the Middle East and US-made Sienna minivans to China.
      • 4 Years Ago
      European car with a not so european and uninspiring CVT gearbox, fail. Just give 'em a manual.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It does come with a manual for your interest, Its just japanese buyers tend to like things shifting gears for them like in America, In the UK the avensis is available with a manual and CVT/Automatic option with every engine.
          • 4 Years Ago
          It does in europe but not in Japan. All it does is it has a 7-ratio simultaion(I've checked in their web). They also need to be less diesel-phobic to realise the combination of 2.2 D-4D and a manual is the best to save fuel and have fun driving at the same time. Because they only have a 2L gasoline engine option.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just hope the new SCamry looks this wonderful! ROFL.
      • 4 Years Ago
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