TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING UK: 20 YEARS OF QUALITY AND PROGRESS
In 1989 Toyota announced that it would start building cars in Europe and that its first engine and car plants would be located in the UK. Three years later Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) began production at Deeside in North Wales and Burnaston, Derbyshire.
Twenty years on, TMUK continues to thrive, supported by continued Toyota investment. Up to the launch of production of new Auris and Auris Touring Sports at Burnaston, the company has committed more than £2.1 billion in UK manufacturing.
There were sound reasons for Toyota’s decision to locate in Britain and they remain true today. It valued the strong tradition of car manufacturing here, which has created a skilled labour force and supported development of associated parts and component suppliers. The UK remains one of the largest and strongest new car markets, and it has good communications links with the rest of Europe.Toyota also appreciated the encouragement and support provided by national and local government and agencies.
The first model to be built at Burnaston – and the first Toyota car to be built in Europe– was the Carina E. This was followed in 1997 by the first generation Avensis and, from 1998, hatchback versions of the Corolla.
In May 2004, Toyota announced investment of £50 million in the Burnaston factory to boost annual production capacity. The factory is Toyota’s largest European production base in terms of both production capacity and volume.
In 2007 Corolla production made way for five-door versions of Toyota’s Auris hatchback. Burnaston remains the exclusive global production centre for Avensis, and in 2011 further investment of £100 million was announced for TMUK to be the exclusive manufacturing centre for Toyota’s next-generation Auris.
Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Burnaston for the announcement, which brought with it the prospect of hundreds of additional jobs at TMUK over the next two years. He said: “This major announcement from Toyota is fantastic news and a massive vote of confidence for UK manufacturing.
“This investment and the jobs it will create provide a terrific boost not just to the local economy but to the whole country, and is a tribute to the great skill, hard work and sheer professionalism shown by the Toyota workforce.Toyota’s commitment to the UK shows the growing strength of the UK car industry – it is our great British success story.
“It is vital that 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.”
Deeside has also enjoyed increased investment and development. Production capacity has been increased and in 2002 a new aluminium casting process was installed, enabling machined parts to be made for worldwide export to other Toyota engine factories. Subsequently investment was agreed to introduce machining and casting operations for Toyota’s 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol engine for Auris. It also manufactures the 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine used in the Auris Hybrid’s full hybrid powertrain. Total investment in the plant stands at £700 million.
Currently it employs almost 500 people, producing engines for the UK-built Auris, Auris Hybrid and Avensis models, as well as for export to Turkey,Japan and South Africa. It also exports engine sets for assembly in Brazil.
TMUK’s achievements were further honoured in 2005 with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. As well as the export value of the vehicles shipped from Burnaston to markets in Europe and Japan, the company makes a substantial net contribution to the UK’s balance of payments. In addition Toyota’s European operations spend millions of pounds a year with UK suppliers.
Toyota’s first European-built hybrid
In July 2009 Toyota announced a full hybrid version of Auris would be built at Burnaston. Production started in mid 2010, alongside the conventional petrol and diesel-powered hatchbacks, ready for the start of sales in July. The new version of Auris Hybrid is being built at Burnaston, too, using 1.8-litre VVT-i engines produced by TMUK at Deeside.
The original Auris Hybrid was Toyota’s first hybrid – and the first full hybrid production car of any kind – to be built in Europe. In 2012 it was joined by Yaris Hybrid, built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s factory in Valenciennes.
TMUK has consistently been in the forefront of efficient manufacturing, through effective implementation of the Toyota Production System, and Burnaston enjoys a special status as one of Toyota’s global Sustainable Plants, setting industry standards in cleaner, low carbon production and the harnessing of sustainable energy sources.
Toyota’s achievements in the UK include zero waste to landfill and incineration whilst significantly reducing the amount of energy and water required to build each vehicle.
In July 2011 Toyota achieved another UK industry first with the inauguration of Britain’s largest industrial solar panel array, capable of capturing up to 4.6 million kWh of sustainable energy every year – enough to build around 7,000 cars.
Toyota’s investment in manufacturing and the production of cleaner, more efficient vehicles such as Auris Hybrid, fall in line with the British Government’s ambitions both for a stronger manufacturing sector and a low carbon society.
Production in 2011
In 2011 TMUK at Burnaston produced 128,161 vehicles (70,750 Avensis and 57,411 Auris), while Deeside assembled 130,703 engines.