The restart of manufacturing at Toyota’s UK car plant has seen the factory produce its 4.5 millionth vehicle. The landmark model, a 1.8-litre hybrid Corolla Hatchback, came off the line at the Derbyshire plant today, reaffirming that is it’s very much “back-to-business” at the site
Production resumed on 26 May following temporary closure due to the Covid-19 health emergency. Facilities and processes have been revised to ensure the health and safety of all staff members and visitors to the site.
Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) completes a car every 89 seconds at Burnaston – that’s 3000 vehicles a week and on average 150,000 a year. Of that total, almost 90 per cent are exported to overseas markets, principally in Europe, reinforcing Toyota’s key status in UK manufacturing. In fact, today’s landmark Corolla is a left-hand drive model, on its way to a customer in Poland.
Jim Crosbie, TMUK Managing Director, said: “Seeing our 4.5 millionth car come off the line gives everyone at TMUK a sense of pride in what we have achieved in almost 30 years of high-quality manufacturing. It also symbolises the great commitment and team spirit of all our members to overcome the challenges we have faced and secure our future as a competitive and highly efficient business.”
TMUK has been building cars in Britain since 1992 when the Burnaston factory came on stream as Toyota’s first manufacturing centre in Europe. Since that time, £2.75 billion has been invested in TMUK, most recently upgrading equipment, skills and supply chains for the latest TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) vehicle and engine production.
Today TMUK Burnaston is the European production centre for the Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports models. Its sister plant in Deeside, North Wales, manufactures engines for Toyota’s 1.8-litre hybrid power system. As well as its own workforce of more than 3,100, TMUK’s business supports thousands more jobs in its extensive supplier network in the UK.