Toyota has confirmed it will build a hybrid version of its Auris hatchback in Britain.
Production of the Toyota Auris hybrid will start at Burnaston, Derbyshire, in mid-2010, safeguarding 400 jobs. The engines will be made at Toyota's plant in Deeside, North Wales.
The decision is a boost for Burnaston after Toyota reduced working hours and base pay by 10 per cent earlier this year.
Tadashi Arashima, Toyota’s European chief executive, said the decision would make hybrid cars more affordable, but he did not announce how much the Auris would cost.
“Such efforts are crucial if we are to see more low-carbon vehicles on European roads,” he said.
“Our decision to produce a full hybrid in the UK reflects both our confidence in the quality and commitment of the Toyota UK workforce and the strength of our long-standing partnership with the UK government.”
Toyota’s UK operations began production in 1992 and it employs about 4100 workers.
Toyota has pledged to have a hybrid version of every car it builds by 2020.