Toyota Continues To Strengthen Its European Operations With More ‘Localisation’

15 March 2001
  • British Managing Director for Toyota in the UK
  • New Engine Strategy Means a Huge Boost for Its North Wales Engine Plant

15th March 2001… Toshio Mizushima, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Europe Manufacturing (TMEM), today announced plans for further strengthening Toyota’s ‘localisation’ policy of building a European company closer to its European customers.

First, Mr Alan Jones, currently Deputy Managing Director at its UK plants is to be appointed Managing Director. This is the first time that Toyota Manufacturing Europe has appointed a locally recruited employee to the post of Managing Director of a car manufacturing operation such as Toyota Manufacturing UK. The appointment comes into effect from 1st April 2001.

Mr Mizushima,the current Managing Director will become Chairman of the Board of Directors of Toyota Manufacturing UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Mizushima said: “I am sure that in appointing Alan Managing Director of Toyota Manufacturing UK, we have put in place a keystone to developing and growing even stronger in Europe. He has been a major contributor to the growth and success of our Company since we started here in the UK, and I am sure that Alan will make a huge success of this very important job.”

Mr Alan Jones said: “Toyota has always said that localisation is key to its progress in Europe. Currently the Company is facing many challenges – not least the difficult economic conditions we are experiencing as a UK-based manufacturer exporting much of our product into Europe. However, I am confident that we have the plans – and above all the people – to execute these plans to ensure a secure and exciting future for Toyota UK “.

The second announcement of the day concerned plans for significant growth at the company’s engine plant in North Wales.

Toyota’s developing global strategy for engine production is to create centres of engineering excellence that meet the needs of ‘localisation’ to its major markets but which are also capable of integrating the need for the supply of engine components on a global basis.

For the European market, the new strategy will result in the Deeside plant becoming the major engine production centre for Toyota’s expanding European operation. The ambitious expansion plan includes:

  • The introduction of diesel engine assembly (two-litre, direct injection common rail version) at Deeside. This operation will commence from 2003. This engine type is currently produced in Japan and exported to Europe.
  • Deeside will also become a major global exporter of petrol engine components to other Toyota plants in South America and in South Africa who use VVT-i * engines of the type in use in the Corolla model.
  • Engine assembly operations are to be located close to the car plants where they are fitted. This means that from 2002, Toyota’s French and Turkish plants will assemble the petrol engine components produced at Deeside. This will allow greater flexibility and a quicker response to changes driven by customer demand. (As well the machining support, Deeside will retain engine assembly operations for the UK plant)

With the introduction of diesel engine assembly and the expanded production of petrol engine machining, coupled with the development of new global markets, volumes at the Deeside plant will increase to more than double the present level – to 400,000 units in 2003.

This development will mean a further boost for jobs in the region. From a current headcount of around 350, Deeside’s employment level should rise to around 600 when the plan is fully implemented in 2003.

Toshio Mizushima said: “These positive strategic changes will further strengthen Toyota’s activities throughout Europe and are the next stage of Toyota Manufacturing UK’s ‘survival plan’. Our plans will ensure that we have greater flexibility in our manufacturing operations in Europe. It will also support and strengthen Toyota’s ambitious but achievable sales objective of 800,000 units by 2005. This strategy will make the Deeside operation Toyota’s European centre for engine manufacturing excellence” he added.


For further information please contact Public Relations staff at Burnaston on 01332 282223/2225/2201.

Notes for Editors:

  1. ‘Engine production’ can be broadly split into two categories:
    1.  ‘machining’ For the Deeside plant, this will mean casting of aluminium and then a process of precision engineering to manufacture major engine components before they are assembled into complete engines
    2.  ‘assembly’ The final process of engine production when all the components are brought together into one complete unit before installation into a vehicle
  2. Toyota Motor (Europe) Manufacturing (TMEM), based in Brussels, was established in 1998 to support and coordinate all of Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Europe. (UK, France and Poland)
  3. VVT-i is Toyota’s new family of Variable Valve Timing – intelligent engines
  4. Toyota UK ‘Survival Plan’. Due to the very tough economic conditions presently being experienced by Toyota Manufacturing UK as a result of the imbalance of the strong pound-weak euro, it (the company) is examining ways in which it can limit the impact of the exchange rate. The first step of the ‘Plan’ was to announce (on 4 Jan 2001) a 30% increase in production at the Burnaston plant in order to improve cost efficiency and offset some of the plant’s fixed costs.

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Toyota Continues To Strengthen Its European Operations With More ‘Localisation’

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