Toyota to build new Suzuki car at Burnaston factory

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Toyota's UK
Toyota's UK managing director Marvin Cooke said: "This is good news for our UK plants and demonstrates Toyota's trust in the capability of our workforce to deliver the highest levels of superior quality products.

Toyota will start manufacturing hybrid cars for Suzuki at  its UK factories, it has been confirmed.

The plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, is part of a global deal to share resources, which was announced by the car makers.

Based on the Corolla, the new car will have engines made in Wales and electrical components from Japan.

It will not lead to extra jobs or investment but will make the factory more efficient, the firm said.

Toyota’s UK managing director Marvin Cooke said: “This is good news for our UK plants and demonstrates Toyota’s trust in the capability of our workforce to deliver the highest levels of superior quality products.

“Seeking to produce additional volume for other customers is one example of all the efforts we are making to keep our UK manufacturing operations as competitive as they can be.”

Manufacture of the new model is expected to start towards the end of 2020.

Toyota began building cars in Burnaston in 1992 and recently spent £240m upgrading the factory, which currently makes the Hybrid Corolla model.

Toyota’s top bosses, including president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, Dr Johan van Zyl, who said that the new Corolla would play “a critical role” going forward.

Dr van Zyl, said: “Toyota Manufacturing UK was our first major manufacturing enterprise in Europe and we have invested more than £2.75 billion in its operations since the start of production in 1992.

The company currently employs more than 3,200 people in the Derbyshire factory and in Deeside in Wales.

Toyota has always stood steadfastly by its commitment to its workforce.

“Toyota has a policy to make every effort to maintain stable employment for its permanent employees, adjusting to trends in supply and demand by adapting operations flexibly through modifying overtime, production, takt times, shifts, release of temporary workers and the like.

In 2009 the motor industry hit a worldwide crisis, directly contributed to the Financial crash this resulted in Toyota opening up to a voluntary redundancy scheme shedding over a 1000 jobs, along with closing one of Burnaston’s two assembly lines they introduced short-time working in the shape of a work sharing programme involving a 10pc cut in pay and hours. The job cuts means the UK work force shrunk by more than 1,000, a fifth of the total over an 18 month period.

Toyota worked through this most taxing period carrying and supporting employees constantly adjusting and changing using Toyota’s legendary working practices and Kaizens.

Toyota’s commitment to the UK and its workforce should be commended.

Having once worked there myself for a number of years and during it’s hardest hit time of 2009-2010 I can honestly say Toyota is a model of both modern production and worker relationships.

 

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