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Toyota prepares UK plant for new era with £240m investment

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Toyota has announced a £240 million investment in its Burnaston car production facility as part of an upgrade plan backed by more than £20 million of potential government funding.

In a move which indicates a commitment from Toyota to maintain its manufacturing presence within the UK post-Brexit, the facility in Derbyshire will be upgraded to enable production of vehicles using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

Announcing the investment, Dr Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, 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.”

In a caveat to his comments, however, van Zyl added: “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.”

Starting this year, the Burnaston facility will be progressively upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems.

The Burnaston plant currently produces the Auris and Avensis and built around 180,000 vehicles in 2016.

Toyota’s investment programme includes up to £21.3 million support from the UK Government for training, research and development and further enhancements of the plant’s environmental performance.

The Japanese brand has launched a global programme to upgrade its manufacturing sites to produce TNGA-based vehicles.

By 2020, the majority of Toyota’s global models will be built using TNGA platforms.

TNGA already underpins the new, fourth-generation Prius and the all-new, Toyota C-HR crossover, which is built in Turkey.

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