Toyotas UK car assembly plant at Burnaston makes the Auris and the Avensis models, with 85% of vehicles exported

Toyota's UK car assembly plant at Burnaston makes the Auris and the Avensis models, with 85% of vehicles exported

Toyota Motor Europe's London representative, Tony Walker, has told just-auto that the UK government is listening and understands the concerns of the UK's auto industry over future trade arrangements with the EU when the UK exits from the EU.

In particular, companies such as Toyota - which has a vehicle manufacturing factory and an engine plant in the UK - are worried that the current 'frictionless' free movement of parts and vehicles across the UK's border with other EU countries could be replaced with additional customs checks that would disrupt pan-European supply chains and just-in-time parts sequencing.

"We have very good engagement with the UK government. It is listening - both to us, individually, as Toyota and to industry bodies such as the SMMT and Automotive Council," Walker said.

"I have no doubt that the government understands well the need for frictionless trade. Some 85% of the cars we make in the UK [at Burnaston] are exported - most of that to the EU -  and the majority of the engines we make in the UK are exported, many shipped to our assembly plant in Turkey and some of those, of course, then come back as finished vehicles. The ease of movement of vehicles and parts across borders in the European region is very, very important to Toyota.

"They are listening and fully understand our views. I have confidence that the UK government is working hard to make the best arrangement."

Walker also highlighted the need for less uncertainty when the 'implementation'or transition period comes into force from March 2019 when the UK departs the EU.

"Of course, the sooner we can understand this, the sooner we can prepare. For the implementation period, we do have to know what we are implementing and I think the government understands that as well.

"We feel very comfortable that the government is listening and understands our concerns."

Earlier this year, Toyota announced that the third generation Auris will be built at Toyota Manufacturing UK's (TMUK) Burnaston factory. TMUK's factory in Deeside, North Wales will also be the main source for its engines.

See also: UK minister wants deeper UK-EU supply chains