The official start of production of the all-new Toyota Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports wagon was marked yesterday by a ceremony at Bondholder Toyota Manufacturing UK's (TMUK) car plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.
The Corolla is the world’s best-selling car with 46 million sold globally since its introduction in 1966.
The launch follows a £240 million investment into the Derbyshire plant.
The event was attended by Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, Mr Hiroki Nakajima, Mid-size Vehicle Company, executive vice president and concurrent chief engineer, Toyota Motor Corporation, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and His Excellency Mr Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom.
TMUK is the exclusive European production centre for these new models, which will be strong contenders in the highly competitive C-segment compact hatchback and wagon market.
President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, Dr van Zyl, said: “TMUK was our first major manufacturing enterprise in Europe and we have invested more than £2.75 billion in its operations since the start of production in 1992. As part of our strategy to secure the competitiveness of our UK operations, we took the decision in 2017 to upgrade our Burnaston plant to manufacture cars based on the new Toyota New Global Architecture platform.
“The highly qualified workforce at TMUK has a fine record of delivering superior quality products. Our continued investments, combined with the dedication of our members, will ensure that we can deliver ever better cars to our customers. The new Corolla will play a critical role in our market ambitions in Europe. It delivers the benefits of the new TNGA platform and increases the appeal of our industry leading self-charging hybrid electric technology.”
TMUK Managing Director, Marvin Cooke said: “This is a proud day for everyone at TMUK, making the new TNGA Corolla is a major milestone in our production history.
“This is a real sign of confidence in the capabilities of our workforce and in TMUK as a centre for world-class manufacturing. We will continue to deliver the highest level of quality products to our customers.”
The new Corolla will be the first Toyota model in Europe to offer customers the choice of two hybrid powertrains:
an upgraded 1.8 litre engine that is manufactured at the Toyota Deeside engine plant in North Wales, and a new powerful 2.0 litre hybrid powertrain. The new Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports wagon will be launched commercially across Europe from February 2019.