just-auto.com

GERMANY: Toyota success creates new UK jobs

By just-auto.com editorial team | 10 September 2003

Up to 1,000 new jobs will be created at Toyota's UK factory at Burnaston in the Midlands as the Japanese manufacturer expands sales in Europe and the Far East, writes Chris Wright.

The company announced it has hit its target of 800,000 European sales two years ahead of schedule and now plans 1.2 million by 2010, plus it starts exporting British-built cars to Japan for the first time next month.

The increase in demand means more jobs in the UK where the Derbyshire plant plans to move to a third shift early next year according to Alan Jones, chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK.

"Demand for Toyota vehicles is growing fast in Europe," he said. "We have already exceeding our expectations and we have to ramp up production at Burnaston to keep up."

This will raise capacity at the factory from nearly 220,000 vehicles a year to 270,000 making Burnaston the first Toyota vehicle plant in the world to run three shifts. This follows the company's Deeside factory which has already become the Japanese company's first engine plant to run three shifts.

It's not only the Europeans who are taking to Toyota. The Burnaston-built Avensis model will also be the first car to be exported back to the company's home market.

Jones said: "Although the Japanese market is normally dominated by smaller cars, there is a growing appreciation of European vehicles, particularly for their high quality. The Avensis has only sold in Europe before but we are now going to export to Japan for the first time.

"We are only looking at small numbers for now, around 2,000 vehicles, but we will see how the market develops."