Toyota Motor Europe is to invest £240 million in its UK manufacturing facility in Derbyshire to enable it to produce its range of electric vehicles in the country.
The facility in Burnaston will be upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems to enable it to produce vehicles which fall under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which includes its EV and ULEV range of cars.
Toyota also claim that vehicles made under the TNGA model require less manpower and fewer components, which makes them more environmentally friendly to produce.
Work on the facility will begin later this year, and the UK government has supported the investment with £21.3 million to contribute towards training, R&D and further enhancements of the facility’s environmental performance.
Johan van Zyl, president and CEO at Toyota Motor Europe, said the upgrade of the facility is a sign of the company’s confidence in its employees and suppliers, as well as their focus on greater efficiency.
However Van Zyl also hinted that successful negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union would be crucial to Toyota’s continued presence in the country.
“Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success,” he said.
Business secretary Greg Clark welcomed the investment, insisting that the government was committed to ensuring the UK remains competitive after its departure from the EU.
“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,” he said.