Secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, Vince Cable, is due to today (June 28) to officially launch the start of production of the Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD), during a visit to Toyota’s Burnaston Plant, in Derbyshire.

During his visit Dr Cable will tour the production lines meeting with workers and management from Toyota’s UK and European operations, before witnessing the Auris HSD drive off the end of the production line to mark the official start of production of Toyota’s introduction of Hybrid technology into an existing C-segment car.

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

Speaking ahead of today’s event Dr Cable said: “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 five-door hatchback Auris HSD is, according to Toyota, equipped with the ‘first and only’ full hybrid powertrain.

President of Toyota Motor Europe, Didier Leroy, said: “The UK has proved to be a valuable business partner.

“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.”

Luke Walsh

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