Toyota investment "vote of confidence" in UK car industry

Despite Toyota's £240 million investment in Derbyshire – which includes an "boost" from the UK government – the car manufacturer has concerns about Brexit's impact on their bottom lime.

Toyota investment "vote of confidence" in UK car industry
The UK car industry shrugged off concerns over the effects of Brexit on Thursday when Toyota announced a £240 million investment in its car plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.

Investment will be used to upgrade the Derbyshire Toyota plant

The money, which includes an "investment" of £21.3 million from the government, will be used on improvements to upgrade the plant to boost competitiveness at the factory, which employs about 2,500 people who made 180,000 cars last year, most of them for export to Europe.Dr Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive of Toyota Europe, said that, despite the investment, the company remained concerned that the UK would retain tariff-free access to the continental market when the Brexit process was complete."We are very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants," he said. "This upgrade 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."
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Toyota, which also has an engine plant in Deeside, said facilities at Burnaston would be progressively upgraded this year with new equipment, technologies and systems. The company said it would also seek to promote supply chain efficiencies to bring down the cost of importing parts from abroad.Business Secretary Greg Clark welcomed the investment. "Our automotive sector is one of the most productive in the world and Toyota's decision to invest £240 million upgrading its Burnaston plant is a further boost to the UK auto sector," he said."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.

UK government has Industrial Strategy to ensure industry success post Brexit

"As we prepare to leave the EU, this Government is committed through our Industrial Strategy to ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business and we are able to help businesses seize on economic opportunities."Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, general secretary of the United union, said: "The confirmation of this platform upgrade at Toyota is further evidence that the UK car industry and the people who work in it are among the best in the world at what they do. Their skill and efficiency right through the supply chain to the production line is second to none."They need to know that the government has their back and will do whatever is necessary to ensure new models and new investment keeps coming to Britain."With discussions set to start on the replacement of models such as Vauxhall's Astra and decisions due on BMW's electric Mini, it is vital that government ministers calm nerves by stating they will secure tariff-free access to the European single market and customs union in Brexit negotiations."This must also be backed up with investment in the UK's supply chain and new technology to ensure the UK remains a world leader in car manufacturing. The car industry is one of the jewels in our nation's manufacturing crown, government ministers must work with us to keep it that way."For related news and features, visit our Enterprise section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory

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