Toyota Motor Corp said on Monday it has no plans to build a hybrid car at its Valenciennes factory in northern France, denying a report in La Tribune.
The newspaper said without citing its sources that the world's biggest automaker was considering building a new, small hybrid car model at the Valenciennes site, which produces the Yaris subcompact model.
We have no such plans, and we are not considering the move either, Toyota spokesman Yuta Kaga said. We have not even made a decision on whether to launch a hybrid model in France.
Toyota engineers and executives have said the company was working on developing a compact hybrid model for launch in the next few years as it aims to add the hybrid option on its entire line-up by around 2020.
Last month, Toyota said it would begin production of its first European-built hybrid car, the Auris hybrid hatchback, in England in mid-2010.
While many markets in Europe -- notably France -- heavily favor diesel cars over hybrids, Toyota said in June that it would alter its strategy in Europe to focus more on hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has expanded its hybrid production sites beyond Japan to include China, the United States, Thailand and Australia, typically receiving some form of state-backed incentives to build the fuel-sipping vehicles locally.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in Paris, Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo, editing by Marcel Michelson and Joseph Radford)