Toyota to invest £240m to upgrade UK car manufacturing plant
Toyota Motor Europe has announced a planned investment of £240m in its UK manufacturing facility at Burnaston in Derbyshire.
The factory will be upgraded to allow the production of vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which by 2020 will form the basis for the majority of Toyota’s global model line-up.
Presently, the Burnaston plant builds Toyota’s the Auris hatchback and the Avensis family car. The Burnaston plant will be upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems.
The UK Government will also contribute about £21.3m to support the company in training, research and development and further enhancing the plant’s sustainability and environmental performance.
Toyota is yet to take decision on whether or not to build the next generation Auris model in the country because of Brexit.
Financial Times noted that about three quarters of the vehicles produced at the Burnaston plant are exported to the EU and the company is also heavily dependent on the European single market for components used in its vehicles.
Toyota is also working to attract more suppliers to the UK, to protect itself from the potential impact of heavy tariff on parts imported to the UK.
The investment follows the footsteps of another Japanese automaker Nissan, which committed to invest in the UK after the government gave assurances to not change trading conditions, once the country leaves the EU.
Toyota Motor Europe president and CEO Johan van Zyl 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.
“This upgrade of TMUK is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency. We welcome the UK Government funding contribution for this activity.”
"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".
Image: Toyota Motor Europe president and CEO Johan van Zyl. Photo: Courtesy of Toyota.