Why Toyota located here

Reasons for a European location

The first official Toyota imports to Europe took place in Denmark in 1963, and since then, the corporation has continued to grow in Europe’s sophisticated and complex market. By 2003, Toyota had delivered its 12 millionth vehicle in Europe, and has achieved record sales results for the last 6 years in a row. Toyota believes in a policy of localising its vehicles to meet the specific needs of Europe’s varied customers. This means the company’s operations in Europe – be they manufacturing, research and development or marketing – are generally located within the communities they serve.

Reasons for a UK location

So, having established the logic behind building in Europe, why the UK? High on the list of reasons was the strong tradition of vehicle manufacturing in Britain and the large domestic market for our product. In addition, the UK offered us solid industrial transport links to our customers along with our British and European supply partners. Another reason was the excellent workforce and favourable working practices.

There was also a supportive positive attitude to inward investment from the British Government at both local and national level. Also of course the English language is very much the second language in Japan, making communication and integration so much easier. In December of 1989 Toyota Manufacturing UK was established. Another point to remember is that the location of the engine plant alongside the vehicle manufacturing plant at Burnaston would have reduced Toyota’s long term capacity to expand at that site and indeed would have restricted the opportunity for both plants to expand.

Why did Derbyshire and Flintshire prove to be such an attractive proposition?

Derbyshire were offering a site of almost 600 acres at Burnaston - about 7 miles from Derby city centre - on a relatively flat and easy to develop piece of land. The site chosen for engine production was the right size and shape on a well-prepared industrial park 7 miles from Chester. Both locations offered good transportation links to all parts of the UK and Europe.

We were made aware of the availability of a large skilled and flexible workforce close by with strong roots in engineering and manufacturing and a first class environment in which to live and work. The local authorities also showed great enthusiasm and willingness to assist. The sites not only provided an effective infrastructure to enable us to operate i.e. electricity, gas, water, telephones but also business and personnel support services to help the Company and its people to integrate into the local communities.