Toyota’s UK engine factory at Deeside, North Wales, has become the company’s first plant outside Japan to manufacture a hybrid vehicle engine.

The 1.8-litre, Atkinson cycle, VVT-i petrol engine for the new Auris Hybrid, which is integral to Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive system, is produced wholly at the facility. Raw aluminium is smelted and cast on-site, prior to machining, assembly and testing of the finished unit. The completed engines are then shipped to Toyota’s Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire for installation.

Toyota’s Deeside operation opened in 1992, principally to supply engines to Burnaston, which began production the same year. It currently employs around 500 people working two shifts five days a week, building both the 1.8 engine for the Hybrid and Toyota’s 1.6-litre ‘Valvematic’ petrol engine. Last year the plant produced 130,247 units.