Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd has won a 2005 Queen’s Award for International Trade.
The award, announced today (Thursday 21 April 2005) on Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday, recognises Toyota Manufacturing UK’s outstanding contribution to British exports between 2002 and 2004.
During those fiscal years, the company almost doubled its overseas export value to around £2 billion both by adding new markets, such as Japan, and increasing sales in developing markets such as Eastern Europe and Russia.
From its car plant in Derbyshire, Toyota exports Avensis and Corolla models to 80 markets worldwide with around 70% of its production going to mainland Europe and just over 10% to Japan. From its engine plant in Deeside, North Wales, engines and engine parts are exported to seven other Toyota plants on three continents. The company’s net contribution to the UK’s balance of payments is typically over £400 million a year.
Hein Van Gerwen, Toyota Manufacturing UK’s managing director, said: "We are very pleased and honoured to receive this most prestigious award. It recognises our members’ continued focus on superior quality and our company’s commitment to delivering customer satisfaction across the globe."
Toyota’s success is based on customer satisfaction. This is ensured in a number of ways.
Members (employees) are thoroughly trained to build superior quality into Toyota products and have the authority to stop the line if they cannot pass on good quality to the next process. Last month Toyota announced plans to build a £11 million Production Centre at its Derbyshire plant to further enhance the professional production skills of members from across Europe.
The world-renowned Toyota Production System also means being flexible to customer demand. The company is currently completing a £50 million investment to increase production capacity to around 285,000 cars and will shortly add two new high performance ‘Clean Power’ diesel engines to its Avensis range in line with high European demand.
Production members also play a vital role in ensuring flexibility to customer demand. For example, different countries have different requirements so members must be able to build over 100 different variants of the Avensis on the same line.
Being closer to the customer also plays a strong part in Toyota’s sales success. As well as investing in European manufacturing plants, the company has improved the appeal of core regional models such as the Avensis and Corolla by establishing research and development and design centres in Europe.
Customer and media visits to both plants also strengthen relationships. When the company began its ‘coals to Newcastle’ exports of Avensis to Japan in 2003, Japanese journalists and dealers responsible for marketing the vehicles were invited to the Derbyshire factory to see superior quality being built in.
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