News : Toyota further boosts UK car manufacturing

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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Toyota Auris Touring Sport commences UK production, boosting output at its Burnaston factory in Derbyshire.

The official start of production of the new Auris Touring Sports at Toyota Manufacturing UK’s (TMUK) Burnaston car plant was marked by a visit from the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, UK Secretary of State for Transport. The minister joined Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, at a ceremony to see the new car off the line at the Derbyshire factory.

TMUK is the sole production centre for Auris Touring Sports, the vitally new important model for its maker. It’s the only model in its segment to offer the option of a full hybrid powertrain, technology which now accounts for more than 20 per cent of Toyota’s new car sales globally.  The company has strong UK expertise in hybrid vehicle manufacturing at its Deeside engine plant in North Wales, as well as at Burnaston, since starting production of the first generation Auris Hybrid in 2010 – the first Toyota hybrid to be built in Europe.

Commenting at the Start of Production ceremony, the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘Toyota’s ongoing investment in Burnaston is a huge vote of confidence in our thriving car manufacturing industry, proving again Britain’s ability to make world class cars that appeal to a global customer base.’

The addition of Auris Touring Sports production at TMUK alongside the Auris and Avensis models reaffirms Toyota’s commitment to the UK. Since 1992 it has invested more than £2.1bn in its operations. Currently TMUK employs more than 3800 people and supports an extensive supplier chain in the UK, from which Toyota Motor Europe typically purchases around £850m worth of parts a year. Its manufacturing makes a significant contribution to the British overseas trade, with around 85 per cent of vehicle production being exported to Europe and other world markets.

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Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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39 Comments

  1. The new Auris is certainly distinctive.

    I’m also a fan of the current Avensis, which is a moderate fleet seller. Attractive big car, UK sales somewhat hampered by lack of a hatchback.

  2. oh – its not an MG6 wagon…and see how the side view the bottom of the car is parallel to the ground(nice) I can see why MG haven’t bothered with the wagon… Toyota have beaten them to it. alex

  3. Good news from Toyota who dont get as much media promotion as Nissan here in Blighty. The Auris Touring Sport looks quite decent too, though in side profile view it looks almost identical to a Focus Estate/Astra Tourer. That could be Toyota’s intention though?

  4. Has Burnaston still got one of its two lines mothballed? Shame they don’t copy Nissan and Honda and knock out RAV4’s, or similar, in the UK – that’s the way the market is going.

  5. Well its good news for British Jobs but 1. I think its pig ugly and 2. Hybrids are rubbish and are actually worse for the environment than conventional fuel burners.

    Question Who designs Toyotas? There is only one good looking one – the slighly updated celica – but everything else looks like its not been proded by the ugly stick but been buried by it.

  6. @5

    The updated Celica? Is that not the Gt86? Different car, different drivetrain.

    I don’t see how the likes of the Auris and Avensis can be described as Ugly. To me they are good looking, when everything in the market is trying to look overly agressive, and certainly no uglier than boring german brand designs.

  7. I like all Toyotas (my 1st car was one)

    They hold up well, and are easy to drive.

    When her nibs chops her Megane in (in another 20K)

    This is one car she already wants to have a go in.

    Good for Toyota, good for the UK

  8. I see Astra/Civic/washing machine.The only Avensis in abundance are old W reg taxis. Ford and Vauxhall wont suffer sleepless nights for sure.

  9. Funny how people knock Toyota and yet they’re never out of the top five in reliability surveys and have customers who have bought nothing else for decades. Also might the Avensis have found a niche for people wanting a large British saloon, but can’t afford a Jaguar, and have nowhere else to go since the Rover 75 has gone.

  10. Probably more relevant to the British motor industry than any of the new MGs in terms of the workforce and supply chain involved. Not a sexy choice but should be a practical one.

  11. I think it would be a much more acceptable looking car in a darker colour. White seems to emphasise its rather awkward styling. Also there is something a little odd about the way the body sits on the wheels- it is good to have the wheels filling out the arches well, but this car looks like it has been TOCAfied.

    Wonder how well it actually drives- humdrum Toyotas rarely appeal to the more sporting driver, although it surely can’t be as awful to drive as the Carina E was back in the early 90s. It would be nice if this car turns out to be a real cracker.

  12. Near me the Avensis is a common site as a minicab, from some late 1990s examples to some of the latest design.

  13. @11, Skoda are never out of the top ten so called reliability surveys yet the streets are not awash with Yetis.
    This car is Derivative, a mixed bag,trying to be Civic and an Astra at the same time, nothing funny about knocking it its just another Japenese car. If it was the new MG we would be upto 89 comments by now on how bad or chinese it looked.

    I would certainly say yhis car is a better package than a 1 series hatch-itself not the holy grail of reliability, the only Toyotas i notice now are the Aygo,I.Q and Yaris, even Lexus has tanked in north manchester with RRG group quietly dropping the brand from its prestigious Edinburgh way site.

  14. Funny how a story about a car manufacturer increasing production then leads to lots of negative comments suggesting that their sales are going through the floor – on the basis that I dont see many in my street. Most of Toyota UK production ends up going abroad. As does Nissan, Honda, GM/Vauxhall and MINI. A cars appeal cant just be assessed by how well it sells in a Fleet/PCP/Badge obsessed country like the UK.

  15. Toyota have never seemed to get the profile in the UK that Honda and Nissan enjoy. Avensis has never been a big seller. On the motorway recently (M62) every 3rd car in badge obsessed Britain was an Audi A3 or A4. The Brits are like sheep and totally predictable. I am buying a derelict railway cottage and drive a Rover 75 and have just bought an 800 Sterling fastback – not prepared to be predictable or conventional in my choice of cars or other things in life. I wish Toyota well but as the Brits don’t have an ounce of patriotism, common sense or individuality I suspect it will bomb here but sell well for export!!

  16. Well if we’re not buying Toyotas, at least Johnny Foreigner is importing them from us, something that couldn’t be said about British cars in the past. ( I was in Germany in 1988 and didn’t see one British car, now I imagine quite a few cars they drive are British with Japanese badges). We now export more cars than even in the so called sixties golden era.

  17. I dont think its about knocking this car,that it exports in abundance pleases me. Like the last corrola and Auris Toyota have short changed themselves in the UK market,unlike Nissan.
    Given that the UK is arguably europes biggest car market,i think the point of not seeing many of these cars whatever their virtues is a salient one.

  18. Im not knocking the cras just their design – they are just ugly. They are dependable if a bit boring to drive. My Uncle had an Avensis as his Taxi before he retired and he swore by it (though he preferred his old Carlton he had back in the 90’s!). To Will M – I was being sarcastic about the GT86 – if you slot it alongside the last two celicas and you can see that the design team just merged them together – its not original!

  19. @22 – Isn’t Germany the largest car market ?
    Looks like an intelligent, professional piece of design. It won’t appeal to the toddler syndrome that people appear to suffer from (its boring, its not flashy enough etc etc) but it will sell well with or without big UK sales. The Auris / Corolla is the world’s biggest selling model – so it doesn’t matter at all that no one buys them in Manchester does it? It is quite funny to think it has taken the Japanese to show how to run efficient car plants in the UK.
    Do Ford still build cars in the UK? Best buy British then – Toyota, Nissan, Honda or GM….

  20. @24, But i live in Great Britain,outside of that im not interested,before im accused of being a ‘little englander’ anyone can witness the long,slow implosion of the EU.

    The Auris and Corolla was never the biggest seller here, i couldnt care less how they sold in Cadiz,Montreal or Cairo.

    Put Honda badges on this car and folk would think its a Civic. Given people have a choice what to buy the toddler syndrome does not hold much water,maybe its a Civic clone due to poor Toyota stylists.

  21. The BMC et al marketing department seemed had the same attitude at times.

    Some far eastern companies were laughing all the way to the bank.

  22. http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/02/10/europe-full-year-2012-top-350-all-models-ranking-now-available/#more-28317

    Looking at Europe’s top selling cars for 2012, the Qashqai makes the Top 10, so it’s not just in the UK where they’re popular. The Juke is 35th, clearly a lot of people like its styling!
    Toyota and Honda fare less well. The Yaris does well (14th), but the Auris is down in 54th which is pretty poor while the Honda Civic was way down in 81st. The Honda Jazz was outsold by the RR Evoque…

  23. Its terrific that we have Japenese Trans-plants here,thier business ethic here and at home is beyond reproach,why did Ryton close? was it french unions and politics? would PSA be deep in the red as they are now?

    Apart from some recent safety issues and recalls it would be foolhardy not to be thankful to there japs and their working practises-itself old news,you only have to watch the Triumph speke plant film on youtube to see the penny dropped with officials way back then.

    Toyota have had some corking cars in the past- the original Celica ST,the Celica Carlos Sainz GT4 to name a couple even early Corolla Gti twincam 16’s would leave 2.9i Sierras standing! I dont want a car that just does its job,and i dont want a BMW i want an individual looking car and this particular car isnt it.

    Two cars really flick my switches (1) Astra GTC/VXR (2) Focus ST estate. And im no focus fan but they look the business.
    So its the GTC for me.

  24. I have just been looking at the hatchback Auris,especially the rear,and folk call the MG5’s rear,have a word with yourselves……

  25. @25
    Maybe your “not interested outside of Britain” view was shared by Austin, BL, ARG etc and look what happened there. Maybe its good Toyota are able to look beyond at the bigger, more important picture and use the low cost UK labour rates and export 85% of what they build in the UK.

  26. @30, Where are the VAG plants in the UK then? BL’s problem was domestic strikes, ARG fared much better with Italy being a big market but ultimately the value of the pound killed exports.As i have said, the fact that these cars export well pleases me,but i still could not care less about the EU it does nothing at all for Britain of any use regardless of the propaganda politicians spew.
    Compared to Germany and their industrial output we are pathetic minnows.
    Who are the low cost labour rates good for? Car workers in Germany command excellent rates of pay and conditions,in parts due to powerful unionsand their economy is thriving above and beyond the rest of europe.

  27. @ 30 Brian

    If you look at that list of Europe’s top selling cars, the Auris (and Avensis) don’t seem to be seling that well in the rest of Europe either. They don’t have a smash hit like the Qashqai.

    @31 Francis

    They have 1 plant in the UK, the Bentley plant in Crewe 🙂

  28. @28 Ryton closed cos it was cheaper to build cars elsewhere in Europe at the time. It was funny how when Renault wanted to move Clio production from France to I think it was Hungry or Czech Republic, there was huge uproar.

  29. @34 daveh

    To be fair, BL did exactly the same thing by closing Seneffe. It’s a lot easier to close a foreign factory than a domestic one, even if the foreign one may be more efficient.

  30. @31
    The EU does nothing for Britain?
    Zero duty on cars built in Britain for sale in Europe maybe?

    @32 Worldwide sales?

  31. More bland whitegoods from the master of apliances. Reliable? So is my old Hoover. Doesn’t mean I want to be
    seen in public with it.

    Toyota- worlds largest whitegoods maker.

  32. I still wonder why Toyota ditched the Corolla name for the European market. The 2002-2007 Corolla was quite easy on the eye, and it should have been the start of something great. I knew a guy at school who bought a used Corolla T-Sport. That car should have been the first of Toyota’s European hot hatches, giving the brand an aspirational image beyond just the Prius. Somehow that never followed through.

    The last European Corolla was quite successful, while the first Auris was dubious from any standpoint other than reliability. Why they bothered to keep the worthless Auris name for the current generation is a mystery. And to think that Alan Mulally held up Toyota’s careful cultivation of model nameplates as an example for Ford to follow.

    @20

    Other parts of the world buy plenty of luxury cars, but only in Europe and especially the UK have the luxury car brands effectively swamped the market. Dependable mainstream brands, even ones established in the local economy like Vauxhall and Toyota in the UK and Peugeot and Renault in France, seem to struggle.

    That’s competition for you, though I wonder if there are other sociological/economic factors at play as well.

  33. Although I live overseas, I watch a lot of old BBC and ITV crime drama shows. In the ’90s, the coppers seemed happy to drive round in Vauxhalls and Fords.

    There was a period on Frost when the WRX seemed popular, along with the anonymous Fords etc. Of course, Range Rovers are omnipresent.

    On the last Lewis episodes, the stars were swanning around in 5-series BMWs. Really, does the public purse extend to doling out BMWs to policemen? The Above Suspicion crowd like Lexuses instead. They’re always whinging on about tight police budgets, when the answer is sitting in the police garage – don’t buy expensive cars for Mr Plod.

    If reality has public servants driving such cars paid for by taxpayers, why doesn’t anyone complain? With every Tom, Dick and Harry driving a BMW or Audi as a company car, badge- obsessed Brits reveal the truth.

    You are a nation of closet snobs!

    Sent from Canada with concern. Our citizens would freak out if cops were doled out $70,000 Bimmers, and rightly so.

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