17 Mar 2017

Toyota isn’t Afraid of Brexit

New working places and £240 million investments Toyota has promised their employees in Bunrnaston, UK. The small Derbyshire village has been hosting the British division of the Japanese giant since 1992 and currently 3,400 people are employed. The funding will help upgrade the factory and manufacturing systems so the company can meet the requirements of the new cars’ market. The Toyota initiative will be supported by the government which will provide an additional £21.3 million for training, research and limiting the environmental impact.

The factory, which by this date has manufactured 180,000 cars, from the Auris to the Avensis models, will implement the latest assembling technology, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. TNGA involves standardising engines and components in all models, and the company’s plan is by 2020 all the cars to be produced using the platform, starting at the end of this year.

The Brexit Shadow

Since the referendum last June, there have been many discussions over the future of British car factories. The main fear is that leaving the EU and the single market will increase the cost production, as 59% of the car parts, used in assembling are imported. Rumours over job cuts and changing locations towards EU countries flooded the news since the Brexit results.

However, those fears are futile. The data shows that last year the industry marked a record production with 80% of the cars produced being exported to 160 countries. Earlier this year, Nissan announced they will expand their factory in Sunderland, and Jaguar Rover also confirmed their commitment for new investments.

Optimism flows from Toyota as well. According to Dr Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe: “Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.” He hailed the support of the government but reminded that there is another issue to be considered: EU tariffs. Currently, 85% of Toyota production is exported and doesn’t fall under any restriction of EU tariffs. But after the UK leaves the EU, Toyota and the rest of the automotive companies will face 10% limit on their exports because of EU tariffs. Therefore, Dr van Zyl considers as crucial, an agreement which will “Continue tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe” and it is “vital for future success.”

Later this year, Toyota will celebrate its 25th anniversary of making cars in Burnaston.

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