Currently reading: Toyota: no-deal Brexit could halt UK production for 'months'
Japanese firm warns failure to reach a deal for leaving EU could have major impact on its Burnaston plant

A no-deal Brexit could potentially stop production at Toyota’s plant near Derby for “months”, the manufacturer has warned.

The Japanese firm’s Burnaston factory currently makes the Auris and Avensis models, and produces around 150,000 cars per year – the bulk of which are exported to the European Union. Toyota has recently invested £250million in Burnaston ahead of production of the new Corolla starting there later this year. It is also hiring 400 staff, to join the 2500 who currently work there.

The firm relies heavily on a ‘just in time’ production method, using components imported from elsewhere in the EU. The plant’s boss, Marvin Cooke, told the BBC that a failure to reach an agreement over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU could have a major impact.

Brexit: what it means for the UK car industry

“My view is that if Britain crashes out of the EU at the end of March we will see production stops in our factory,” said Cooke. Asked how long the disruption could last, he added: “We can’t predict. It could be hours, days, weeks or even months.”

Cooke added that the possible introduction of import and export tariffs between the UK and EU would “add permanent costs to our business”. He added: “That would reduce the number of cars made in the UK, and that would cost jobs.”

Brexit concerns grow as UK manufacturing decline continues

A UK government spokesperson told the BBC that it was still confident a Brexit deal would be reached.

Toyota is the latest car firm to voice fears over the impact of a no-deal Brexit on UK production. Mini will close its Oxford plant for a month following Brexit, bringing forward a planned closure, while Honda is understood to be looking at stockpiling key components. Toyota says its production process makes it impossible for the firm to hold more than a day’s worth of inventory. 

Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth recently said that fears over a hard Brexit had already led to job cuts in the car industry – and that more could follow.

Read more

Toyota invests £240 million in Burnaston plant

JLR boss Speth: hard Brexit will cost jobs

Oxford Mini factory to shut for a month following Brexit

Brexit: what it means for the UK car industry

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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max1e6 1 October 2018

Adapt or die

''Toyota says its production process makes it impossible for the firm to hold more than a day’s worth of inventory. ''

Toyota should change their production processes then. So far they have had two years three months to make the adjustments.

That bloke 30 September 2018

Here we go again.  So again,

Here we go again.  So again, then: so what?  Brexit is about politics, not economics.  The people decided to leave the EU, and it must be delivered no matter at what cost.

Symanski 30 September 2018

That block is pointless.

That bloke wrote:

I say my bit, then go. So although I'm interested in what you may initially say, I don't care what you think about what I've written, so I won't read whatever your reply is.


In that case let me tell you what we all think of you...

Thekrankis 30 September 2018

Toyota has history....

They threatened to leave the UK in 2000 if we did not join the Euro... google it.