Toyota to pump £240m into Derbyshire

Toyota has announced plans to invest a further £240m into its Derbyshire plant, backed up by £21.3m from the UK Government.

The Japanese automotive giant said the investment into its plant in Burnaston will see the centre upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems.

President and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, Dr Johan van Zyl, said the cash injection was a sign of confidence in employees and suppliers.

However, he did warn that "continued tariff- and barrier-free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success."

Dr van Zyl’s comments come as the government faces intense pressure to secure tariff-free access to the EU's single market for car manufacturers following Brexit.

The money will improve competitiveness and enhance the car marker's "supply chain efficiencies", as well as enable the production of vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, the group said.

He added: "This upgrade of Toyota Motor UK is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency. We welcome the UK Government funding contribution for this activity.

"Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire."

The money will be backed by up to £21.3m of government investment, subject to independent assessment, to support skills and training, research and development and innovation.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: "Our automotive sector is one of the most productive in the world and Toyota's decision to invest £240m upgrading its Burnaston plant is a further boost to the UK auto sector.

"I also welcome the prospect of investment to take Toyota New Global Architecture into the supply chain.

"Toyota is one of the world's largest car producers and this inward investment underlines the company's faith in its employees and will help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Toyota models to be made in the UK."

Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), added: "This latest investment is welcome news for Toyota and the wider UK automotive sector. It's essential that investment continues in plants across the UK to maintain our global competitiveness and put us in the best position to secure new models in the future.

"After a decline in investments in the sector last year, government must continue to collaborate with industry and, as we leave the EU, deliver a deal that safeguards as many of the trading benefits we currently enjoy."

The Burnaston factory and Toyota’s engine plant in Deeside, North Wales, were established in 1989 as Toyota’s first major production sites in Europe.

Since start of production in 1992 they have built more than four million vehicles and around five million engines and engine sets in the UK.

Since then, the company has invested more than £2.5bn into the plants and they now employ over 3,000 people.