Toyota has followed in the footsteps of Nissan by announcing that it will invest a further £240 million in its Toyota Manufacturing UK car plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire.
The cash injection - which also includes £21.3 million support from the UK government for training, research and development - will fund new equipment, technologies and systems to enable it to produce the latest Toyota models for the global market.
Announcing the investment, Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said:
“We are very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants. The roll-out of TNGA manufacturing capability is part of this plan. This upgrade of TMUK is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency. We welcome the UK Government funding contribution for this activity.”
“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.”
The revamp will start this year and will mean the plant can produce vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.
The UK's car makers now export four out of every five cars they produce, by 15 manufacturers to 160 markets worldwide.
There was a 7.5% increase in car exports to EU countries in 2016, and a 47% increase in car exports to the US.
UK production is now on course to break its all time record set back in 1972 of 1.92 million – and may accelerate through the two million barrier, said the SMMT.
The UK is the third biggest car maker in Europe, and Europe’s second biggest car market after Germany – a point which is likely to reinforced by the Government to EU chiefs contemplating punitive trade tariffs against the UK.