Toyota lifts hopes of rise in UK output

The prospects of a further huge boost to the British car industry were strengthened yesterday after the Japanese motor giant Toyota said European output would double to about 350,000 cars early in the next decade.

The plan puts Toyota's pounds 1bn Burnaston factory in Derbyshire in prime position to build a third model to compete in the small car sector of the market against the likes of the Nissan Micra.

However, Toyota executives cautioned that the chances of the investment coming to Britain would be seriously jeopardised if Britain's increasingly Eurosceptic stand hampered its relationships with the rest of Europe.

Output from the Burnaston plant is due to increase from 117,000 this year to 200,000 a year from late 1998 when it starts production of a second Corolla-type model alongside the existing Carina E.

The increase in production will see the workforce rise from 2,300 now to 3,000. But if Burnaston is selected for a third model it would mean at least another 700 jobs and further investment of pounds 200m or more and come as a further vote of confidence in the British motor industry following Nissan's decision to build a third model in the North-east.

Alan Marsh, vice-chairman of Toyota Motor Europe, said: "We would like to develop the product range to include a Micra-sized car and ideally we would like to grow Burnaston but a company like Toyota never closes the door. We are always evaluating the European market and it is in our interests to look at other sites." The Burnaston plant is identical in configuration to Toyota's Kentucky plant in the US where production of the Camry and a people carrier called the Sienna is running at 400,000 a year.

Toyota's plan is to build 60 per cent of the cars it sells in Europe locally compared with 30 per cent at present.

Last year about 130,000 of the 412,000 cars it sold in Europe were built locally, nearly all of them Carina E cars from Burnaston.

The company, Japan's biggest car maker, plans to increase European sales to 600,000 by the turn of the century and wants more of those cars built in the same location as they are sold.

Further Japanese investment would help make up for Ford's decision to axe production of the Escort at its Halewood plant on Merseyside with the loss of 1,300 jobs.

Ford blamed the cuts partly on overcapacity but senior Toyota executives rejected this reasoning. "In terms of our sales plan we have a shortage of capacity," said Tatsuo Takahashi, managing director of Toyota Motor Europe.

However, Britain's relationship with Brussels will be a key factor as the timing approaches for a decision on where to locate the new plant.

Mr Marsh said: "If the Eurosceptics win the day and drive us to a referendum on Europe and the public vote to stay out that would have very severe consequences for a manufacturing company like Toyota."

The Japanese car maker declined to become embroiled in the row over the support given by leading British businessmen to key Labour policies.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Life and Style
fashion
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?