The plant, which makes the Auris and Avensis models, will receive a £240m 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 £21.3m 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.
Dr Johan van Zyl, president at CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.”
The news comes in spite of warnings from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in January that Brexit had reduced the motor sector’s competitiveness and would jeopardise future investment in automotive manufacturing in the UK. Further commenting on the news, van Zyl warned that “continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”
Commenting on the news, Stuart Apperley, Director Automotive, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This move by Toyota is a huge and welcome vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive sector, its workers and its future.
“Britain’s automotive industry is the biggest exporter in the manufacturing sector and, despite the uncertainty caused by impending negotiations to leave the EU, our research* shows firms are looking to the future. They have plans to invest an average of a fifth of turnover and expect revenue growth of 15% over the next two years.
“The hope is that Toyota’s announcement will encourage other manufacturers to continue to invest in the UK, particularly with the opportunities presented by developments like driverless cars and electric.”