Toyota's expansion could herald car investment boom
Saturday 10 January 1998
Trade and industry officials are confident of attracting fresh inward investment into the motor industry in the wake of the Toyota expansion in North Wales. Negotiations on a number of projects are thought to be at an advanced stage.
The Welsh Development Agency is ready to offer Ford an aid package to build engines for the new X400 baby Jaguar at its Bridgend plant in South Wales.
There are also hopes that the increase in production at Nissan's Sunderland plant to 300,000 cars a year with the introduction of a third model will tempt more suppliers of heavy, high-value components such as transmissions to set up in the UK.
Japanese car firms have now invested pounds 3.7bn in UK manufacturing facilities, creating 10,000 jobs. The latest Toyota expansion brings its UK investment to pounds 1.5bn. However, Britain has only been partially successful in attracting component firms. Only nine of Japan's 20 largest component suppliers have manufacturing operations in the UK.
The expansion of the Deeside site will double its output of engines to 400,000 a year and include a new castings plant. Negotiations are still going on over the level of aid Toyota will receive, although it is expected to be less than pounds 3m. The increase in engine production will enable it to supply both the Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire and the new small car assembly plant Toyota is building in Valenciennes, northern France.
According to some estimates, the new small car, based on the existing Starlet model, will contain up to 50 per cent British content.
The Deeside investment will take its workforce in North Wales to 600. By the time Burnaston begins production of a second model, the Corolla, late this year, the workforce there will have reached 3,000.
Speaking in Japan after meeting Hiroshi Okuda, the president of Toyota, the Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "It shows yet again the continuing confidence people have in the UK economy."
Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, who is on a trade mission to the Far East, said that following Jaguar's decision to build the X400 at Halewood, Toyota's announcement was "further endorsement of the UK as the number one location for automotive investment in Europe".
Officials deny that the strength of the pound or Britain's decision to stay out of the European single currency is deterring inward investors, pointing out that the UK continues to attract 40 per cent of all Japanese investment into the European Union.
Total Japanese investment in the UK stands at pounds 31bn out of a total inward investment stock of pounds 140bn.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...