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More fuel economy means more factory workers and more production for Toyota's most popular model in Europe. That simple equation explains why the Japanese automaker is boosting annual production of its gas- and hybrid-powered Yaris compact vehicles at its French factory. The new number will be about 222,000, a 15 percent increase. To do that, Toyota will need to add about 500 workers to bring its total there to more than 4,000, UK's The Green Car Website says. Vive le Toyota!

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Some notable dates for Toyota and/or hybrid fans:

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Something there is that doesn't love waiting for the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Rumors of this vehicle have swirled around for a long while and today Toyota finally released the first official pictures of the production Yaris Hybrid. There are only three, but they show – wait for it – a Yaris. With a hybrid powertrain.

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With Toyota set to unveil the Yaris HSD Concept hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show and the Honda Fit, boosted by a spike in sales of the gas-electric version, recently overtaking the Toyota Prius as the best-selling vehicle in Japan, conditions seem to indicate that a battle is begining for overall supremacy in the subcompact and compact hybrid vehicle segments.

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We're all aware that Toyota's dominance in the hybrid segment is unmatched, but if a report posted in the Wall Street Journal turns out to be true, then we should expect the gas-electric champ to further bolster its industry-leading lineup with the addition of two new variants of the best-selling Prius by the end of 2012. Apparently, two dealers on hand at a conference in Las Vegas revealed Toyota's future hybrid plans.

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2010 Euro Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Euro Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Yaris with Toyota Optimal Drive – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2008 Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2008 Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Toyota Yaris - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Toyota Yaris - Click above for a high-res image gallery

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Toyota Yaris Liftback – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Toyota Prius

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