Less cars in front to be Toyotas

Posted on 1 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

Toyota is to cut production at its Burnaston factory in Derbyshire, the UK’s second biggest automotive producer after the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

For five months, Toyota will reduce shifts and increase stoppage time. Fifteen thousand less vehicles will roll off its production lines in that time. Last year, the plant produced 277,000 cars.

Bosses said they will be constructing a future strategy over the period.

“The business environment is rapidly becoming more difficult. Things remain very uncertain, not just in the US but in emerging countries and resource-rich nations as well. We cannot be optimistic now,” conceded Katsuaki Watanabe, president of Toyota.

The Japanese Prius-wielding giants said none of the plant’s 3,800 permanent staff will lose their jobs but that courtesy will not be extended to all of then 220 temps. The staff will receive extra training and will perform maintenance duties while relieved of their usual endeavours.

Tom Sawyer, a regional union officer at Unite, said: “The global economic downturn is presenting car manufacturing with tough challenges. Toyota’s response has been to take a longer-term view of the market and make adjustments now to position it for future recovery.”

The Times somewhat theatrically labelled the move as Toyota’s decision to “rein in its dreams of world domination.”