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UK is first country outside Japan to build Toyota hybrid engine

Toyota’s UK Deeside plant has become the first Toyota factory outside Japan to manufacture a hybrid vehicle engine.

The 1.8-litre VVT-i unit for the new Auris Hybrid, which is integral to the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, is wholly produced at the North Wales facility. Raw aluminium is smelted and cast on-site, prior to machining, assembly and testing of the finished unit. The finished engines are then shipped to Toyota’s Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire for installation.

Toyota Manufacturing UK’s (TMUK) Deeside operation opened in 1992, principally to supply engines to Burnaston, which began production the same year. It currently has more than 500 people on site, working two shifts five days a week, building both the 1.8 engine for the Auris Hybrid and Toyota’s 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol engine. In 2009 the Deeside plant produced 130,247 units.

Richard Kenworthy, TMUK General Manager Engine Manufacturing, said: “This is the first time that a Toyota hybrid engine has been made outside Japan and we take great pride in having that opportunity.”

Deeside’s focus on achieving “zero defects” is being maintained through detailed training of employees and new quality assurance procedures at the plant. Preparations for production included employees travelling to Toyota’s Shimoyama factory – the “mother plant” for hybrid engines –  and learning first hand from their Japanese colleagues about the specific requirements of hybrid engine manufacturing.

The 115 acre site at Deeside Industrial Park, Flintshire, North Wales has had £700 million invested in it during its lifetime.

Keywords: Toyota Deeside plant, new Auris Hybrid 1.8-litre VVT-i engine