Toyota has reportedly decided to make a hybrid version of its Auris hatchback at its UK car making plant at Burnaston. It would be the first site for Toyota hybrid car production outside of North America or Asia.

The Sunday Times newspaper said that the introduction of the new vehicle in Britain 'follows intense negotiations' with the British government in recent months.

The report also said that the UK government will provide financial assistance to help the move.

Official confirmation of the move is expected in the next few months, with Gordon Brown expected to visit the Burnaston plant for the announcement.

The report also said that hybrid Auris production is expected to start before the end of this year.

The Sunday Times noted that the UK ministers have said before that they planned to make Britain a centre for the production of low-emission vehicles.

The Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive will share its petrol-electric drivetrain with the new Prius.

However, analysts say the Auris hybrid will likely cost less, partly because it is a smaller car and partly because it will be less well equipped.

A hybrid RAV4 is expected to follow as Toyota attempts to ramp-up hybrid volume towards a million a year.