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Toyota announces £50m UK jobs boost

Toyota today announced a £50m investment plan for its Burnaston factory, in Derbyshire, where production capacity will be increased from 220,000 to 285,000 cars a year.

The world's second largest vehicle maker brought forward additional funding to meet growing demand, which has earned Toyota a record 5.7% of the European car market during the first four months of this year. It had originally planned to ramp up annual output at its UK facility to 270,000 units. Toyota has recorded seven consecutive record sales years in Europe .

The UK-built Avensis and Corolla were key to these results, giving the manufacturer a UK market share approaching 5% during the same period.

Toyota's latest investment brings its commitment to the UK to £1.75 billion since the Burnaston plant, where 1.5 million cars have been built to date, became the company's first European outpost in 1992. A total of 1.5m engines have also been produced at its factory in Deeside, Wales.

As part of the expansion programme Toyota is recruiting 1,000 new staff, which should bring the corporation's UK industrial headcount up to 4,600 staff by the end of this year.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair MP, welcomed the investment , which he said "affirms Toyota's commitment to manufacturing in the UK as a central location within Europe".

"This is good news, not just for the company but also for the UK automotive industry, as it gears up for the challenges of developing new and cleaner vehicle technologies of which Toyota is at the forefront."

Bryan Jackson, Toyota Manufacturing UK's managing director, said it acknowledged "the commitment and dedication of our members to building superior quality cars and reflects the importance of the UK to Toyota's European growth".

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