The French would never admit it, but a Japanese car company is helping revive the northern region of the country left in the dust of the former industrial revolution. Nord-Pas de Calais, where Toyota has located its sparkling new Yaris assembly plant in the city of Valenciennes, has been on the wane since its mining, steel and ship repair industries started declining in the late 1960s. Unemployment soared while the area struggled to attract new development. Few dreamed that Japan’s ...

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