Toyota's Burnaston factory is to be the sole European manufacturing centre for C-segment cars

Toyota has announced plans to make the UK its sole manufacturing base for hatchback versions of its next C-segment family car.

The Japanese firm is to invest more than £100 million in its Burnaston plant, making it the leading manufacturing centre for Toyota’s core models for Europe. The Derbyshire factory will produce all future spec petrol, diesel and hybrid hatchback models. Burnaston currently produces the Avensis and Auris. The latter will be replaced by the new C-segment offering.

Hatchback production at Burnaston will consolidate TMUK’s position as a leading manufacturing centre for Toyota’s core models for Europe and will further strengthen Britain’s status as an exporter; about 85 per cent of TMUK engine and vehicle production is shipped to Europe and other world markets.

Up to 1500 jobs are expected to be created, with the first phase of 500 to be recruited in mid-2012.

“These measures are designed to help Toyota secure significant sales in the C-segment, the most competitive part of the European new car market,” said Didier Leroy, Toyota Motor Europe President and CEO. He added that, “Toyota has a long and successful record of building vehicles in the UK and our facilities here are among the finest in the world.”

The investment boosts the total amount Toyota has spent on manufacturing infrastructure in the UK to £2.1 billion, since 1989.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the plans: “It is vital 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 – it is an extraordinary success story and one that we are very proud of.”

Toyota has also announced that Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey in Sakarya, which currently builds the Verso MPV and Auris hatchback, will become the European centre for C-segment saloon production.

Daljinder Nagra

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