Toyota GB president: We’re committed to European manufacturing

Time 12:06 pm, February 13, 2014

toyota factoryJAPANESE carmaker Toyota has said there is no risk of closures at its European manufacturing facilities, following its announcement that it is to pull out of Australia due to high labour costs.

The automotive giant this week announced that it is to cease manufacturing Down Under by 2017, ending a 50-year presence in the country.

The move also effectively ends all car manufacturing in Australia, with rival Japanese firm Mitsubishi, as well as Aussie favourites Ford and Holden, already having concluded operations there.

However, Toyota GB president and managing director, Matt Harrison, says that TMUK – Toyota’s British facility based in Burnaston, Derbyshire – has a bright future ahead.

‘Toyota has a longstanding commitment to the UK,’ he exclusively told Car Dealer. ‘This year has been a very impressive success with the Auris hatchback, for which TMUK is the sole manufacturing plant.

The company’s commitment to hybrid technology is another factor in its optimism for the future of its British operation.

‘Localising our hybrid tech facilities in Britain allows us to be very flexible in terms of following customer demand. 40 per cent of the build for 2013 featured hybrid technology,’ added Harrison.

Toyota is confident that its three European manufacturing facilities – the others being sited in Turkey and Northern France – will enable the company to produce cars efficiently in the future, by maximising their capacity.

‘Toyota doesn’t take the decision to close down production facilities lightly,’ concluded Harrison.

The news is likely to be welcome for TMUK’s approximately 4,000-strong workforce. The same cannot be said for their Australian counterparts – some 2,500 of which are facing redundancy.


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