International confidence in the UK’s automotive sector has been bolstered by Toyota’s announcement it will build its new generation Auris model at its Burnaston factory in Derbyshire.
In a further vote of confidence for UK engineering expertise, the majority of engines for the new model will be sourced from the company’s Deeside factory in north Wales, helping to secure 3,000 jobs across the two sites.
Business Secretary Greg Clark welcomed the decision during a visit to the Burnaston factory, where he met teams who will be working on the new model.
The decision was helped in part by Government investment of more than £20m announced last year to support the upgrade of the facility and the installation of a new production platform to make the plant more competitive and enable it to build more advanced vehicles.
The investment follows the publication of last month’s landmark sector deal between Government and the automotive sector, a vital moment in establishing the UK’s leadership in meeting the Future of Mobility and Clean Growth Grand Challenges.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “We have been clear in our commitment to ensuring the automotive sector continues to go from strength to strength which is why, through the Industrial Strategy, we established a landmark Automotive Sector Deal that will see us working with industry to put the UK at the forefront of new technologies and future investment decisions.
“Toyota’s decision to build its new Auris model in Burnaston is testament to the highly-skilled and committed workforce that helps make the UK’s automotive sector one of the most productive in the world, and this government will continue work to create the best possible environment to maintain this fruitful relationship.”
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Toyota’s commitment to the UK is an enormous economic boost for Deeside and Wales as a whole. Toyota has played a crucial role in helping to demonstrate why Wales continues to be a prime location to invest and do business through its anchor status on Deeside.
“I visited the company’s HQ in Toyota City in Japan last year where I was encouraged by the long term approach given to their investment decisions. This major announcement is fantastic news and a massive vote of confidence for UK manufacturing and for Wales as a go-to inward investment destination.”
Toyota has a long-established relationship with the UK, producing four million vehicles and five million engines over the past 25 years. Today’s announcement follows Toyota’s decision last year to invest over £240m to upgrade Burnaston to improve the plant’s competitiveness by installing its latest production platform – the Toyota New Global Architecture – to ensure the plant produced the most advanced models for the European market.
The UK’s automotive sector continues to thrive with the UK currently the third largest European car producer with the highest productivity among Europe’s automotive producing nations. The sector generates £14.6bn, representing 8.2% of the UK’s total manufacturing gross value added.