Automotive

Toyota’s factory near Derby to start making cars for Suzuki

Toyota corolla rolling off of manufacturing line
Toyota Corolla Hybrid From Behind
Updated on Thursday 21 March 2019, 9:51 AM 102 Views

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Toyota has announced it is to start making Suzuki-badged cars at its Derbyshire factory as part of a collaboration agreement between the two manufacturers.

The move will see the company’s Burnaston plant supply Suzuki Motor Corporation with cars based on the new Corolla Wagon – a car which the factory officially started making at the beginning of the year.

Although built by Toyota staff, the vehicles will be badged as Suzuki cars. The Derbyshire factory is expected to start making the vehicles towards the end of 2020.

The cars will be hybrid-electric vehicles, fitted with hybrid engines produced at Toyota’s engine manufacturing plant at Deeside, North Wales.

It is not yet known how many cars Burnaston will be making for Suzuki. It is understood that production volumes will be announced nearer the time.

But Toyota said that the number is expected to be within Burnaston’s existing manufacturing capacity, which means there will be little to no impact on jobs at the plant, which currently employs around 2,600 people.

There has been much speculation about the long-term future of the Derbyshire factory and the potential impact of Brexit.

The factory currently exports the majority of the cars it makes to mainland Europe tariff-free. However, the firm, along with other car manufacturers with UK factories, could face the prospect of export tariffs if Britain leaves the EU without the right trading agreement.

To off-set this prospect, Toyota has been working hard to increase the competitiveness of its Burnaston factory – which has included investing £240 million in the plant to introduce a more efficient manufacturing processes.

Marvin Cooke, managing director at Toyota Manufacturing UK, said the collaboration with Suzuki was another example of the efforts being made by the company to increase competitiveness.

He said: “This is good news for our UK plants and demonstrates Toyota’s trust in the capability of our workforce to deliver the highest levels of superior quality products.

“Seeking to produce additional volume for other customers is one example of all the efforts we are making to keep our UK manufacturing operations as competitive as they can be.

“We have consistently said for the medium to longer term, continued free and friction-less trade and common automotive technical standards will be essential to support the international competitiveness of the UK automotive sector.”

Toyota’s partnership with Suzuki comes after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to work together back in February, 2017.

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