The new headquarters for Toyota (GB) PLC in Burgh Heath, near Epsom, Surrey were officially opened today by Mr Fujio Cho President of Toyota Motor Corporation, the third largest motor manufacturer in the world.
Toyota GB, the UK importer and distributor for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, welcomed the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Rt Hon MP Patricia Hewitt, to the official ceremony. Also attending were His Excellency Mr Sadayuki Hayashi, the Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Mr Christopher Grayling MP, the newly elected member for Epsom and Ewell and local Mayor, Councillor Stan Gates.
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, said: “Toyota’s continued commitment to the UK pays tribute to the quality of our highly-skilled and dedicated workforce. I am delighted to be here today to witness Toyota, one of the UK’s finest flagship inward investors, further cement their presence in the UK market.”
Around 100 VIP guests, including senior personnel from associate companies and Toyota colleagues from around the globe, attended today’s event. Toyota GB’s Chairman, Mr Ken Kuroki, presented a specially converted Toyota Hiace Autorider disabled passenger vehicle to Mrs Christine Beck, British Red Cross Area Director for Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Mrs Beck commented: “The Hiace Autorider will play an important role in the service the British Red Cross Berkshire branch offers to people who cannot easily use
ordinary transport. The Toyota vehicle will assist the British Red Cross in its endeavour to help these people meet their everyday mobility needs as well as providing vital transport for emergencies.”
The unveiling of a commemorative plaque followed the presentation in the stylish ‘Rotunda’ reception area of the new building. Toyota also presented a donation to a local charity, the Children’s Trust, before a tour of the new premises and luncheon.
The new state of the art headquarters, designed by architects Sheppard Robson, is set in the parkland of an existing grade II listed building near Epsom in Surrey. The building has been carefully designed to relate to its landscaped surroundings while providing a dynamic new workplace for Toyota GB’s 500 staff.
In line with the trend for more flexible and informal workstyles, staff have the option of working in a cellular office or “touching down” with their mobile or lap top within the circulation street, staff restaurant or by the newly created lake.
Note to editors: Toyota (GB) PLC is the importer and distributor for Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the UK and is responsible for sales, marketing, after-sales and customer satisfaction. Sales are managed throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland by a network of over 220 Toyota dealers and 47 dedicated Lexus sales centres.
Toyota GB employs approximately 500 employees at the new headquarters in Burgh Heath; Technical and Training Centre in Salfords, Surrey, Parts Distribution Centre in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, Import and Preparation Centre at Portbury, Bristol and some Toyota GB employees operating from the UK manufacturing plant in Burnaston.
Toyota offers the UK’s widest product range comprising 15 different vehicles:
Yaris, European Car of the Year 2000, this class-leading supermini was designed in Europe for Europe; Yaris Verso, mini MPV; Corolla, the world’s most popular family car; Avensis, British built executive car; Toyota’s all-new people carrier Avensis Verso on sale from August; Camry, luxury executive saloon; MR2 Roadster now available with sequential manual transmission for a more involving drive; Celica sports coupé also boasting a 190bhp model; the revolutionary petrol/electric hybrid Prius; Previa MPV with advanced safety and seating for seven or eight; image-leader the RAV4 sports utility vehicle; rugged off-roader Land Cruiser Colorado and Land Cruiser Amazon models and two light commercial vehicles the Hiace van and Hilux pick-up.
In addition there are six Lexus models – LS430, GS430, GS300, RX300, IS200 and, available August 2001, SC430 sports coupé.
Toyota GB achieved a record sales volume in the UK in 2000 of 98,871 units. Total market share reached an all time high of 4.02 per cent. Lexus reached a record total sales volume of 8,934 units, 29.4 per cent up on 1999. Toyota/Lexus was the eighth best-selling manufacturer of passenger cars in the UK for the year 2000. For the first time ever, sales of Toyota vehicles (89,937) exceeded those of Nissan.