Britain to be first in Europe to produce hybrid car

Posted on 17 Jul 2009 by The Manufacturer

Toyota has confirmed the UK will be the production home for its new hybrid car.

The new model, a hybrid version of the Auris hatchback, will go into production at the Japanese efficiency giant’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire from mid next year. The engines will be made in Toyota’s other UK factory, located in Deeside, North Wales.

It will be the first time a hybrid car will be mass produced in Europe, with the majority still made in Japan.

Toyota’s European chief executive, Tadashi Arashima, said: “Our decision to produce a full hybrid in the UK reflects both our confidence in the quality and commitment of the Toyota UK workforce and the strength of our long-standing partnership with the UK government. Today’s announcement is positive for Toyota, our UK suppliers and the local communities here.”

Business secretary Lord Mandelson welcomed the move as a good example of the low-carbon strategy government is trying to implement in Britain.

“It demonstrates that the UK’s car industry is already making the low-carbon transition,” he said.

Toyota sold just shy of half a million hybrid cars globally last year, with a large chunk of that made up by sales of its flagship Prius model. The firm employs around 3,500 workers at the Burnaston plant and a further 500 at Deeside.