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Brown launches UK production of Auris

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, officially launched the start of UK production of Toyota’s new Auris.

Brown visited the Japanese manufacturer’s Burnaston Plant in Derbyshire.

During his visit the Chancellor toured the Auris assembly lines and met with workers and senior management from Toyota’s UK and Europe operations before being driven off the production line to symbolise the start of production of Toyota’s new C-segment hatchback.

Speaking to an audience, which included employees, suppliers and representatives from Amicus, local Government and the local community, the Chancellor said: "Britain is now in the longest period of economic growth of any major economy since the second world war.

"Since 1997, we have become the most stable major economy in the world, and we have risen from bottom of the rich nations in terms of wealth per head to second. Employment levels are at record highs – in the last year the UK has created over 23,000 new jobs per month.

"With growth becoming stronger and more balanced, business investment rising, and inflation set to fall, we have all the conditions in place for continued stable growth in the years ahead. We will never put that hard-won stability at risk, and we will continue making the necessary long-term investment in skills, education, jobs and innovation so we can compete ever more successfully in a more global world."

The event was attended by an audience of over 300 employees and guests, including Margaret Hodge, minister of state for industry and the regions, department of trade and industry, Andrew Davies, Welsh assembly minister for enterprise, innovation and networks and the Japanese UK ambassador, Yoshiji Nogami.

Hein Van Gerwen, managing director, Toyota Manufacturing UK added: "We are delighted that the Chancellor joined our celebrations and was so positive about the contribution of our employees. “Auris is an important vehicle for Toyota in Europe and we believe sets new quality standards in the competitive European C-segment. By holding this event at the end of the production line enables us to demonstrate our total commitment to delivering superior quality for every customer."

Toyota expects to sell 150,000 Auris in 2007 with sales rising to 200,000 sales annually on a full year basis.

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