Toyota plans to build new Auris in UK on assumption of Brexit transition deal
Japanese carmaker Toyota intends to build the next version of its Auris car at its British car plant on the assumption that the government secures a transitional Brexit deal, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The final decision is due to be made by the end of the year, according to the sources and a government briefing document released to Reuters under a freedom of information request. The new Auris would keep one of Britain’s biggest car plants operating, secure thousands of jobs and provide a welcome endorsement to Prime Minister Theresa May. Toyota builds the current generation of Auris hatchbacks at its Burnaston plant in central England, with the run due to end in around 2021, but firms make model decisions up to three years in advance partly to organise supply chains. In March, the company said it would invest 240 million pounds ($314 million) to upgrade to a new global car-building platform but has not confirmed which models it will build going forward. (Full Story) The platform investment decision was helped by a government letter reassuring the firm over post-Brexit trading arrangements, sources have told Reuters. Britain’s car industry is concerned that 10 percent tariffs, border checks and loss of free access to Europe could hit the viability of their plants if May fails to secure a good Brexit deal.