Toyota creates 1,000 jobs at Midlands plant with third shift

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The Independent Online

The Japanese car maker Toyota is to create 1,000 new jobs at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire with the addition of a third shift.

The move will increase production at the £1.7bn plant by 50,000 cars a year to 270,000 and represents a huge vote of confidence in Toyota's UK workforce.

News of Toyota's expansion comes hard on the heels of General Motors' announcement of an £80m expansion of its Vauxhall car plant on Merseyside to cope with production of the new Astra alongside the Vectra.

Both companies have chosen to invest in their UK operations despite uncertainties over whether the UK will join the euro.

A spokesman for the Japanese company said that this was the first time in Toyota's history that it had introduced a third shift at any of its manufacturing plants.

Recruitment for the 1,000 new positions will begin in the next two months ready for the introduction of the three-shift system by the second quarter of next year.

The increase in production will enable Burnaston to start exporting the Avensisto Japan later this year - the first time it has made cars in Europe for the Japanese market.

Production at the Burnaston plant, which also makes the Corolla model, began in 1992 since when Toyota built 1.3 million vehicles and 1.1 million engines at its engine plant at Deeside, north Wales.

The latest expansion will increase the workforce at the two sites to 5,600.

Toyota also announced that it is adding a third shift at its Valenciennes plant in France, boosting production of the Yaris to 210,000 a year and creating an extra 500 jobs.

Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry , welcomed the announcement saying: 'This investment demonstrates that the UK automotive industry is in a good position to succeed in a global competitive market."

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