Toyota will export the Avensis from its UK manufacturing plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire to Japan from July this year. The vehicles, which will be carried to the port of Southampton by STVA will be loaded onto NYK vessels for shipment to Nagoya in Japan at a rate of 750 per month.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) already ships the model to 47 countries worldwide and by the end of 2010 more than 1.8m Avensis vehicles had been built for sale across those markets and in the UK.
The news has been welcomed by the Government as an endorsement of British manufacturing skills and quality. UK business secretary Vince Cable said: "Toyota exports 85% of the car and engines it makes at its UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside. Today's news that it will now export its Avensis model to Japan is a tribute to the skills of the workforce, the efficiency of the plants and the quality of its products. I was delighted to meet Fujio Cho, Chairman of Toyota when I visited Japan recently and I highlighted the importance of manufacturing in the UK."
TMUK managing director Katsunori Kojima added: “We are very proud that the Avensis has been selected for export to Japan. This is yet another vote of confidence for TMUK and the high quality of our products.”
The company said that customer demand for European styling and engineering had prompted its decision to introduce the Avensis to Japan’s domestic market.
Together with Toyota’s European production centres, TMUK has returned to production levels and operating hours that were in place prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake in March.
The Burnaston facility also builds the Toyota Auris and is the first factory in Europe to mass produce a full hybrid model, the Auris full hybrid.