Toyota to produce new car model at UK plant

Development is rare piece of good news for UK car industry

The new Suzuki model to be built at the site  will be based on the Toyota Corolla model currently built there. Photograph: Reuters

The new Suzuki model to be built at the site will be based on the Toyota Corolla model currently built there. Photograph: Reuters

 

Toyota will begin producing a new model at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, in a rare piece of good news for the UK’s beleaguered car industry.

The Japanese carmaker will produce a brand-new car for Suzuki at the site, which will be based on the Toyota Corolla model currently built at the plant.

The vehicle will be a hybrid, using engines from Toyota’s Deeside facility in North Wales with electric components imported from Japan.

Although the production, due to begin late next year, will not lead to any more jobs or investments, it will increase the utilisation rate of the plant, helping to improve its chances of remaining open in the longer term.

“Seeking to produce additional volume for other customers is one example of all the efforts we are making to keep our UK manufacturing operations as competitive as they can be,” said Marvin Cooke, Toyota’s UK managing director.

“We have consistently said for the medium to longer term, continued free and frictionless trade and common automotive technical standards will be essential to support the international competitiveness of the UK automotive sector.”

Investment

Toyota invested £240 million (€280 million) into the site two years ago to prepare for a new generation of cars, which it began producing last year with the Corolla model, which replaced the older Auris car.

The site employs around 2,600, and produced 129,000 cars last year, a number the company expects to rise this year as it ramps up the new model. Around two-thirds of the cars it makes are hybrids.

The new Suzuki car is expected to increase output at the site. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019