Toyota has announced that it will build the third generation of its Auris model in the UK.
The new hatchback will be made at Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, with the main source for the car’s engines to be the Deeside site in North Wales.
Johan van Zyl, Toyota Motor Europe president and chief executive, made the announcement during a visit to Burnaston on Wednesday.
He said the deal “shows our confidence in the skills and capabilities of our TMUK (Toyota Manufacturing UK) members”.
The news is a welcome boost for Britain’s car-manufacturing industry, as it waits nervously to see if Brexit will bring tariffs and trade barriers.
Mr van Zyl added: “As a company, we are doing what we can to secure the competitiveness of our UK operations as a leading manufacturing centre for our European business.
“With around 85% of our UK vehicle production exported to European markets, continued free and frictionless trade between the UK and Europe will be vital for future success.”
Marvin Cooke, TMUK managing director, said: “We will constantly improve our productivity and competitiveness to help secure a bright future for TMUK.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark said Toyota’s decision was “testament to the highly skilled and committed workforce that helps make the UK’s automotive sector one of the most productive in the world”.
The world premiere for the new Auris will be at the Geneva Motor Show on 6 March.
Toyota’s Burnaston plant made 144,000 cars last year, which was down 20% from 2016, according to industry figures.
In March last year, Toyota said it would invest £240m upgrading its car plant at Burnaston, in what was seen as a vote of confidence after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.