Toyota invests £240m in Britain


Toyota has followed in the footsteps of Nissan by pledging to retain its manufacturing future in the United Kingdom (UK), with a new £240million investment at its facility in Burnaston in Derbyshire.
The Japanese carmaker confirmed that the new cash injection also includes £21.3million support from the UK Government which will be used for training, research and development and honing the facility’s ‘environmental performance’.
President and Chief Executive Officer of European operations at the manufacturer, Dr Johan van Zyl, said the investment was “a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency” but also warned that success would be determined by the nation’s upcoming Brexit negotiations.
The Buranston plant in Derbyshire will be upgraded with new equipment from this year.
The £240million will fund new equipment, technologies and systems at the Burnaston facility to enable it to produce the latest Toyota models for the global market.
The revamp will take place from this year and will mean the plant can manufacture vehicles on Toyota’s new TNGA platform, which already underpins models like the latest four-generation Prius and C-HR crossover.
By 2020, the carmaker said the ‘majority’ of its cars will be built on this platform – some of which are in Britain.
But the confirmation of the investment was still tainted with some uncertainty about the UK’s negotiations to exit from the EU.
Dr van Zyl added that the Japanese brand was showing a commitment to the UK-based facility, but warned that the country’s ability to secure access to the open market was fundamental to success.
He said: “We are very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants. The roll-out of TNGA manufacturing capability is part of this plan. Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.
“Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”
The plant will receive new machinery and systems to allow it to build upcoming models on the latest Toyota platform
The facility is already the home to the Auris hatchback and Avensis family car
Currently, Toyota builds the Auris hatchback and Avensis family car at the plant in Derbyshire.
Toyota said that it could delay a decision on whether to build its next-generation Auris model in Britain to see the outcome of Theresa May’s negotiations to leave the European Union.


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