Toyota has announced a £250 million investment in East Midlands facilities, in a move welcomed as “very positive” by local business leaders.
The Nottingham Post reports that Scott Knowles, chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said it was “a significant investment in Toyota’s UK manufacturing capability and will give reassurance to workers at Burnaston, in the local supply chain and at the firm’s engine plant at Deeside”.
“While Toyota, like many inward investor businesses, has said it will consider all its options as a result of the Brexit process if unable to continue to trade freely with Europe after Britain finally leaves the EU, we still see this as a very positive announcement.”
Despite much speculation that car manufacturers would abandon the UK following the Brexit vote, Toyota Motor Europe CEO Dr. Johan van Zyl said the company was “very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants”.
He added: “The roll-out of TNGA manufacturing capability is part of this plan. This upgrade of Toyota Manufacturing UK is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency.
“Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”
The announcement comes as Detroit Electric announces it will create hundreds of jobs manufacturing electric vehicles at a plant in Leamington, and as FM Coatings, a parts supplier servicing manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Ford, announces it will expand into new premises in South Tyneside.
UK car manufacturing output already hit a record high in 2016, driven by strong export growth, but the Europhile Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) has yet to acknowledge the positive effect of the cheaper pound on industry performance.