North America will now be sourcing its Yaris subcompact hatchbacks from France rather than Japan.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) today held an official ceremony to mark the start of production on May 6 of its Toyota Yaris compact car for export to the United States of America, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The model produced is the conventional gas Yaris and annual export volume will be around 25,000 units on a full-year basis.

No word yet on whether or not the Yaris Hybrid will also cross the ocean.

From the small Northern French town of Onnaing, near Valenciennes, TMMF will now export its vehicles to more than 40 countries, including destinations like South Africa, Egypt, Canada and the United States of America.

TOYOTA CANADA INC. French factory starts Yaris production“Building on more than 10 years of experience in high quality car production, this Yaris is another endorsement of TMMF’s excellence in manufacturing,” said Makoto Sano, President of TMMF. “We are proud to be recognized as a true player in the Toyota organization and welcome this new business opportunity to further strengthen TMMF’s position as an important exporter in France.”

“With Quebec accounting for 65 percent of Yaris’ Canadian sales, a warm welcome will be assured for this ‘Made-in-France’ vehicle,” said Seiji Ichii, President and CEO of Toyota Canada Inc.

The Toyota Yaris became the first vehicle ever produced in France to be certified with the new “French Origin Guaranteed” (“Origine France Garantie”) label.

This certificate was created in order to help customers identify products that have more than 50% of their value manufactured in France.

The current, third generation Toyota Yaris was launched in Europe in the summer of 2011, followed by the Toyota Yaris Hybrid in June 2012. In an overall declining B-segment, the Yaris model range grew 27 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, mainly supported by strong sales of the Yaris Hybrid.

With sales of 182,841 vehicles, the Yaris model accounted for nearly 22 percent of Toyota’s total European sales in 2012.

In the U.S., Toyota sold 30,590 Yaris (hatch and sedan) in 2012. Total sales of the Yaris hatchback in Canada for 2012 was 8,440 units.