Toyota Auris is to be first British-built hybrid

We’re breaking big news today with the official announcement from Toyota that it will build a full hybrid version of the Auris hatchback in the UK with production starting next year. It will be the first British-built hybrid car.

This ground-breaking car, featuring Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive Technology, will be built at the Burnaston factory. Engines will be supplied by the Deeside facility in North Wales.

More details will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show which starts on 15 September 2009, but we can confirm that production of the Auris hybrid will kick off in the middle of 2010, with sales launched before the end of the year. Rest assured we will be keeping you up-to-date with all the key developments in the project, as soon as we hear about them.

This is Toyota’s first full hybrid to be built in Europe, and the first hybrid to be built in the UK. This exciting declaration underlines Toyota’s commitment to expanding the range of low-emissions hybrid vehicles, and to car production in Britain.

Tadashi Arashima, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Toyota has taken a significant step forward in ensuring that full hybrids become more accessible to a wider range of customers. Such efforts are crucial if we are to see more low-carbon vehicles on European Roads.

“Our decision to produce a full hybrid in the UK reflects both our confidence in the quality and commitment of the TMUK workforce and the strength of our long-standing partnership with the UK Government. Today’s announcement is positive for Toyota, our UK suppliers and the local communities here,” he said.

Friday’s announcement on the first British-built hybrid car also coincides with a visit to Burnaston by Lord Mandelson, the Government’s Business Secretary. Lord Mandelson welcomed this “forward-looking investment in Britain from a world class manufacturer”.

He added: “As part of our low carbon industrial strategy we set out to make Britain the best place in the world to develop low carbon vehicles. These commitments, backed by the formidable skills of the UK automotive workers, enable companies like Toyota to invest with confidence in low carbon car production in the UK. It demonstrates that the UK’s car industry is already making the low carbon transition.”

Auris has been built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) at Burnaston since 2007. The factory, Toyota’s first car plant in Europe, opened in 1992 and has produced more than 2.5 million vehicles, including Carina E, Corolla and Avensis, for sale in Europe and export to other markets worldwide.

Today TMUK employs more than 4,000 workers and has benefited from investment totalling more than £1.85 billion.

Details in this article were correct at the time of publication.


  1. Our Prius does 48mpg in regular use.
    The Government test figure isnt real life but then realise how little “ordinary” cars will do.
    Remember also the appalling tax yield in GB = Vat on the car, fuel duty (60% of pump price), then Vat on that, road tax, and speed camera revenue partnerships

  2. “This is Toyota’s first full hybrid to be built in Europe, and the first hybrid to be built in the UK”

    Simon, thanks for the confirmation that the UK is not part of Europe.

    Is this part of a strategy to rescue a car that re-defines boredom from complete oblivion?

    1. Hi Max, the first Hybrid to be built in Europe was the Loehner-Porsche Mixte, built in Vienna in 1900. This had a series engine, unlike the Auris Hybrid which will be built with a ‘full’ Hybrid parallel engine. Toyota have built cars with full Hybrid engines before, but never in Europe, and no mass manufacturer has previously built a Hybrid engine in the UK.



  3. Att. Vic Curtis !

    Hi Vic,

    I hope you right about the Cd.

    Then perhaps the new Sports Hybrid will appear.

    Incidently, if the Hybrids were truly doing their job, the manufacturers would not have to worry so much about the Cd. Its about time Toyota & the others started to improve on their battery power systems.



  4. Toyota UK is the company I have always dreamed of working for; so much so that I studied East Asian Studies and Japanese at the University of Sheffield and based my dissertation on the emergence of Toyota UK and other key Japanese industrial transplants.

    Cue my dismay by April 2008 to the current economic crisis; TMUK and many others are rationalising or merely consolidating their workforces due to the recent stagnation of the sector, leaving next to no opportunities for keen graduates and other potential employees.

    The introduction of a hybrid production line will hopefully create new jobs in a desperately wanting period in our regional economy.

  5. I realise this may be sacrilege, can the Prius tow, and be fitted with a roof rack? Most cars these days can be fitted with these massively practical devices for those occasional needs (not caravaning). I believe the last Prius could not be fitted with a bar due to possible over loading of the electrics, never had an official reason.

  6. Hi,

    We are keen Toyota fans and are looking to move from an Avensis to the Prius but need to be able to confirm that it will take a roof box.

    I understand that the car takes a roof rack rather than rails, but I cannot find confirmation within this site or in the literature that the car can manage a roof box.

    Can anyone help with where to look for confirmation please?



  7. Anybody have any advice on how we can purchase a new Alphard – any car importers that you would recommend? We would nip down top Topyota tomorrow but they do not retail them in UK! Bah

    1. I am equally amazed that Toyota have some great RHD hybrid models out there in Japan and Australia, but for some reason choose not to sell them here.

  8. In response to RICHARD CAMIDGE I had a T3 for 3 years in which I did 98000 miles, in all that time I would average between 52 and 58mpg per tank.

    I have had my Tspirit for a year and have done 23000 miles and I have been averaging between 50-54mpg per tank (possibly all the extra electrics?). Even so, it shows that better mpg’s are achievable especially considering I do a lot of motorway driving at speed (rather not say just how fast!).

    I am looking forward to the new Auris, I only have a car the size of the Prius because it’s a hybrid. A smaller car would suit me much better. It’s a shame my current contract doesn’t expire until 2011 :(, but the Prius is still one of the most balanced cars I have ever driven so I wont be too upset.

  9. Hi Phil,

    Huge apologies – I missed this question.

    Yes, a luggage box is available to fit onto the roof rack. It is silver, with a capacity of 380 litres. You should be able to order it through a Toyota Centre – the part number is PZ4AF-73158-90 and it costs £236.20 (the roof rack is separate).

    Sorry once again to have left you hanging!

  10. I need a roof box and rails for my new 2010 model Prius. Any recommendations or comments from owners or dealers would be appreciated.

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