Toyota's decision to build the new Toyota Auris Hybrid in Britain is a tremendous vote of confidence both in its UK operations and in British car manufacturing. Being given the opportunity to produce the first volume hybrid vehicle to be made in Europe is a source of great pride for all Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) employees.
Tony Walker, TMUK Deputy Managing Director explained: "Auris Hybrid is very important for TMUK. It provides a great opportunity for us to increase production and for Toyota to increase sales, and it is a source of great motivation for everyone here. As the first car in the C-segment to benefit from full hybrid technology it is helping lead the move to a low carbon economy in Europe."
Toyota Auris Hybrid production is the latest chapter in Toyota's on-going investment in TMUK. Britain was the site of Toyota's first European manufacturing operations, a car plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire and engine factory in Deeside, North Wales, came on stream in 1992. TMUK remains the company's largest manufacturing business in Europe, benefiting from £1.54 million in investment to date.
Experience, a skilled workforce, a strong environmental profile and the fact petrol and diesel-powered versions of Auris are already built by TMUK were key reasons for Toyota's decision. Tony Walker added: "As we are already building Auris here, adding a new powertrain was a cost-effective manufacturing and sourcing decision. The UK is a great place for producing low carbon technologies, with strong Government support and public interest in cutting vehicle CO2 emissions."
Toyota's investment in new skills, quality and production systems at TMUK, both at Burnaston and at Deeside, where the 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine for the Toyota Auris Hybrid is built, ensure that TMUK can respond to growing customer demand.
"We think more customers will make hybrid their powertrain of choice and at TMUK we have the capacity to make more vehicles and meet this demand. Toyota's strategy is to progressively expand full hybrid technology, with the goal of offering a hybrid version of all its models by 2020. As this happens, we will be well placed to produce more hybrid vehicles here in the UK."
Toyota Auris Hybrid production starts at Burnaston in June and the new model officially goes on sale on 1st July 2010.
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