Car manufacturer Toyota has invested £100m to develop and produce a new hatchback vehicle, creating 1,500 new jobs at its factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire.
The factory in Derbyshire is to be the sole European manufacturing centre for the company’s new generation of C-segment family sized hatchbacks. The models produced on the site will include petrol hybrid and diesel models. Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news of Toyota’s further investment in British manufacturing and jobs.
Mr Cameron said: “This major announcement from Toyota is fantastic news and a massive vote of confidence for UK manufacturing. The investment, and the jobs it will create, provides a terrific boost not just to the local economy but to the whole country.”
He added: “Toyota’s commitment to the UK shows the growing strength of the UK car industry – it is our great British success story. It is vital that we build a more balanced economy, one with manufacturing, innovation and exports at its heart. The automotive sector is leading the way in helping us achieve this.”
The £100m investment in tooling and equipment at the Burnaston vehicle plant reinforces Mr Cameron’s push for Britain to increase exports. Toyota Motor UK currently exports 85% of its engine and vehicle production to Europe and other world markets.
The introduction of new generation hatchback models will increase production volumes at Burnaston, with the first phase of the recruitment drive commencing in the middle of 2012. This first phase is expected to result in the taking on of 500 new employees.
Didier Leroy, president and chief executive officer at Toyota Motor Europe, has signaled that the commitment to building vehicles and engines in the UK is a key element in its European production strategy.
Mr Leroy said: “Toyota has a long and successful record of building vehicles and engines in the UK and our facilities here are among the finest in the world in terms of efficiency and environmental performance.”
“The investment we are making will secure a dynamic future for Toyota Motors UK (TMUK) as a leading manufacturing centre for our core models in Europe. It also supports our commitment to delivering superior quality vehicles and contributes to Toyota’s sustainable growth in Europe.
“We are not only making a significant investment in our own operations and workforce here, but also sustaining our supplier network in the UK,” he added. “We know that together we can build vehicles that deliver the highest standards of quality, reliability and environmental efficiency.”
Tony Walker, TMUK deputy managing director, commented: “This is great news for Burnaston and Deeside. It will safeguard our current employment levels and create up to 1,500 additional jobs in the next two years.”
Mr Walker continued: “Going beyond our own operations, there will also be benefits for our local communities and regions, safeguarding thousands of jobs in the UK supply chain.”