Toyota is moving to invest £240m into its production plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. Included in that amount is £21.3m from the government which, according to AutoExpress, will be used for employee training, research and development and reducing the carbon footprint of the plant itself.
The rest should go towards upgrading the plant’s equipment so that it can produce vehicles sitting on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform if needed. Currently, the Derbyshire plant is churning Auris hatchback and estate alongside the Avensis saloon, neither of which are currently using the TNGA.
Some may be wondering why Toyota would invest so much money into a plant when the only models to sit on the platform are the fourth generation Prius and C-HR. That’s because Toyota wants to future-proof the plant, make it more competitive in light of Brexit and promote UK supply chain efficiencies globally.
President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe Dr Johan van Zyl said: "Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.”
But the plant’s success may hinge on the “continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated”.
Last year, around 180,000 vehicles rolled off the Burnaston plant production line at full capacity and that number should increase with the new investment.