Toyota celebrates start of production of the first Full Hybrid Vehicle in Europe

Today will see the official start of production of the new Auris with Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD), the first full hybrid to be built in Europe. The Toyota Plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, will produce the new Auris with HSD to support a full year European sales target of 30,000 vehicles. The car will be launched in 32 countries across Europe, while deliveries to the first customers are starting in July.

The event will be attended by an audience of over 300 employees and invited guests, including national and local government, local community, business partners and representatives from the media.

Didier Leroy, President of Toyota Motor Europe, praised the quality and strength of its UK operations: "The UK has proved to be a valuable business partner. Building on almost 20 years of manufacturing experience, TMUK's team members continue to deliver the quality, efficiency and flexibility needed to meet the exacting standards of our customers in Europe. A new chapter is opening today as Britain, a traditional origin of industrial innovation, becomes home to the manufacture of the first full hybrid vehicle for Europe."

Katsunori Kojima, Managing Director of TMUK, highlighted: "it is a proud day for Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK as we celebrate the official start of production of the Auris with Hybrid Synergy Drive, yet another premium quality model to be Built in Britain. To manufacture a world-class vehicle you need a world-class team and the commitment and dedication of our members has been crucial. As a model sustainable plant for Toyota in Europe we will truly be an eco plant with eco-minded people building eco cars."Speaking ahead of today's celebrations, Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills stated:

"Toyota's decision to make Burnaston the only plant in the world to build the Hybrid Auris is a strong endorsement of the UK as a manufacturing base for the next generation of cars. It is sending a signal to manufacturers that if you're not in the UK, then you're missing out on all the strengths and skills that the UK has to offer.

"The new Auris with HSD introduces Hybrid Synergy Drive technology to a mainstream model of the Toyota line-up. The new 5-door hatchback is equipped with the first and only full hybrid powertrain in the highly competitive C-Segment. Reflecting Toyota's environmental lead in the drive towards sustainable mobility, Hybrid Synergy Drive serves as a core technology applicable to all future models.

The heritage of Hybrid Synergy Drive has its roots in the first generation Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, which was launched in Japan in 1997 and in Europe in 2000, establishing a major industry milestone in vehicle powertrain development and sustainable mobility. The launch of the Auris with HSD is a major step in the deployment of Toyota's full hybrid drive technology across the company's entire model range by the earliest timing possible in the 2020s.

With class leading fuel economy the Auris with HSD returns fuel consumption figures of only 3.8l/100km and remarkably low highly tax-efficient CO2 emissions of just 89g/km. In addition, the Auris with HSD generates significantly lower NOx and PM emissions than diesel engined cars of comparable performance.

The new Auris with HSD will be assembled at Toyota Manufacturing UK's Burnaston Plant, in Derbyshire, while the Hybrid Synergy Drive system's efficient 1.8ltr petrol engine will be built in Deeside, North Wales. Opened in 1992, Burnaston was Toyota's first European plant and will now become the first plant to manufacture full hybrid vehicles in Europe. Auris with Hybrid Synergy Drive will be built in the same production line as petrol and diesel Auris, alongside Avensis. Quality remains an absolute priority at TMUK and all production techniques were re-evaluated to maintain the highest standards in built quality, durability and reliability. New quality testing procedures are established at Deeside and Burnaston, covering areas specific to hybrid operation.TMUK is a model sustainable plant for Toyota in Europe, which minimises the use of natural resources and exists in harmony with its natural environment. TMUK is part of the comprehensive 360° Sustainable Operations approach of Toyota, which is covering the whole vehicle Life Cycle: from design, through production, selling, driving and recycling of the vehicles.TMUK represents a total investment of over £1.85 billion (2.2 billion Euro) and is one of nine Toyota manufacturing companies in Greater Europe. TMUK vehicle production passed the three million mark in June 2010.