Toyota celebrates the 30th anniversary of its plant in the UK: from the Carina E to the Corolla Hybrid

Although today Toyota has many factories in Europe, the first one to own is located in the UK and was opened at the end of 1992. In fact, we are talking about two factories, one for assembly and one for engines. Let us know your story.

Technically, Toyota has been making cars in Europe for more than 50 years. In October 2021, the anniversary of European production was celebrated in Uvar (Portugal) by connecting Toyota with Salvador Caetano, which has been preserved to this day. But this factory was not wholly owned by the Japanese factory.

Let’s jump a few years back in time. At the beginning of the 90s, there were still a series of complications for importing cars from Japan, so many manufacturers decided to establish themselves in Europe to avoid barriers. Toyota UK, starting in June 1990, chose to work on building a plant in Bernaston, in Derbyshire (England).

In the same 1990, the engine plant in Deeside (Wales) was operating, which would later provide propellant for Toyota Carina II (T190). The letter “E” stood for “European” until production began in the UK, and all Carina products came from Japan. Exactly the first Carina E was produced December 16, 1992.

side drive factory

Currently, Deeside factory produces Corollas gasoline engines and hybrid system components in their bodies hatchback And fashionable, both for the EU or other export markets. Since 2010, Toyota has been producing electrified components in Europe, initially for the Auris hybrid at the time.

The first engine produced in Deeside was a 1.6 petrol engine, 4AFE

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Since beginning operations in Deeside, Toyota has pumped 2.75 billion pounds there and employs more than 3,000 people. Only last year there was 257,395 Engines Both for export and for the Burnaston factory, the latter is produced 131024 cars in 2021.

The first Karina E was a great event in the UK. Soichiro Toyoda, father of Akio Toyoda (current chief), was there with the first crew of 1,143 workers. Setting up and running the plant required an investment of £840 million and more than 100 man-hours of staff training.

Toyota Carina E assembly line opening ceremony, December 16, 1992

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Soon, in 1993, the factory was officially opened to the public. The first production of the Carina E was in a sedan body, but in 1993 the production of the variant also began. hatchback or five doors. The family body or estate, which was also in the same generation, was postponed until 1995.

In 1997, the Carina E gave way to a model more designed for European tastes, and this was the genesis of the Toyota Avensis (T220). The following year it was accompanied by another model to be sold in mass, the Toyota Corolla (E110). Three years later, a completely new generation (E120) was released. In 2003, 10 years after its release, the production of a new generation of Avensis (T250) began in Burnaston.

For its part, the European Corolla was replaced by the Auris (E150) in 2007. In 2008 the third generation Avensis (T270) arrived, which bore two styling Until 2018. Production of the new generation Auris (E180) began in 2012, until its replacement by Toyota Corolla (E210) again in 2019. In total, 1,936,572 Toyota Avensis vehicles were produced in England.

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If you ever happen to visit the Burnaston factory, it occupies an area of ​​234 hectares. In the box there are areas Stamping, welding, painting, plastic molding and final assembly. Interestingly, it is located in an area that was flooded 300 years ago.

Toyota maintained its commitment to the UK despite Brexit, a risky gambit at the time.

Finally, we have to know a very little known fact about the British plant, which is that it contains time capsule Right in the reception area. On the day its construction began, June 4, 1990, a series of objects were inserted under the polished granite slab that will remain there for 100 years.

Indeed, until the 4th of June, 2090, when many of the living will disappear from us, the tablet will be opened and it will show the world what has remained hidden there for an entire century. Its content is unknown. Hopefully they have calculated the preservation conditions well, sometimes time capsules don’t hold up well for decades.

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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