17 March 2017

Government and Labour welcome Toyota plant investment

The UK government and the Labour party have welcomed an announcement by Toyota Motor Europe that it is investing £240 million to upgrade its car plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Earlier this week, the firm said the plant, which makes the Auris and Avensis models, will receive nearly a quarter of a billion-pound investment from the company to enable it to produce vehicles using the company’s new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The investment also includes £21.3 million from the UK government, which will be used for training, R&D and enhancements of the plant’s environmental performance.

By 2020, Toyota aim to build the majority of its vehicles using the new TNGA platform. The company has launched a global programme to upgrade its manufacturing sites to be able to produce TNGA vehicles.

Responding to the announcement, business and energy secretary Greg Clark (pictured) said the UK’s automotive sector is one of the most productive in the world and Toyota’s decision to invest in upgrading the Burnaston plant is a further boost to the UK auto sector.

“I also welcome the prospect of investment to take Toyota New Global Architecture into the supply chain,” he said.

“Toyota is one of the world’s largest car producers and this inward investment underlines the company’s faith in its employees and will help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Toyota models to be made in the UK.

“As we prepare to leave the EU, this government is committed through our Industrial Strategy to ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business and we are able to help businesses seize on economic opportunities.”

Labour’s recently appointed shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey also welcomed the announcement.

“It is testament to the world-class workforce there whose excellence, hard work, and efficiency makes the UK car industry so strong,” she said.

“However, we should not be complacent. As the chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe warned; continued, predictable and uncomplicated tariff and impediment-free access will be important for future success.

“This is why the government needs to secure tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market and Customs Union and re-enforce this with a coherent industrial strategy, which invests in the supply chain, R&D, infrastructure and skills. Only by doing this will the government protect jobs in the UK car industry and ensure the continued success of this sector.”

Adam Offord | @WM_AdamOfford

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