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.

60 comments

  1. Hi again,

    You’re right: the Corolla Verso went on sale on 2 January 2002. The car you saw was probably a Toyota Centre demonstrator or launch vehicle, hence the early registration. In answer to your question, then, this will have been just a one-off.

    1. Hi Melissa,

      My friends and I are doing a piece of coursework (mechanical engineering) on hybrid vehicles and comparing the environmental impact of a hybrid to the IC equivalent. At the moment we’re looking for a car which has a vehicle available in both hybrid and petrol form so that we can do an energy systems analysis on it.

      Is there any data on the Auris hybrid available- in terms of specification we could use?

      Regards

  2. The hybrid technology seems impressive but the MPG figures stated are not very appealing.Hybrid or not with the way petrol prices are in UK these cars are very expensive and 50 to 60 mpg figures will be probably doubled in the next few years.I’m thinking of buying a new car and even with the hybrid technology I still think cheaper diesel cars(with higher MPG figures are better value for £ just now as they are thousands of pounds cheaper to purchase.Unless you drive to work every day and you’re within a couple of miles from home I don’t see the point in these.

    1. The Prius has the best fuel economy figures out there for a family car. Sure some diesel might be better on a long run but the Prius comes into its own round town. So, if you drive on the motorway or A roads then a diesel is your car. If you drive round town a lot then a hybrid is better. Do a search on google for problems on diesel particle filters – which are required on the latest diesels!

      I’ve saved loads of money on my hybrid taxi compared to my last car which was a 2.0 diesel. In fact, I’ve almost cut my fuel bill in half!!

      Horses for courses I guess but seriously, don’t discount the hybrid.

  3. Great that Toyota are expanding their range of Hybrids, what with the new Auris hybrid due soon, but what about the Camry hybrid being sold here? I understand they are releasing them in Australia early 2010 so there shouldn’t be any RHD issues.

    I know you’ll say the future is small and for a lot of people it is, but there are still people out there who need/want bigger vehicles and also want good fuel economy.

    Or maybe I’m just biased as a Camry Hybrid would be the perfect car for me as a taxi driver! I know the argument would be they stopped selling the Camry as they never sold many, but the hybrid version would I’m sure. I’d have one and I’m sure many people in my industry would too. Just look at the inroads Skoda have made with their Superb model. The UK is now their biggest market and most go to my colleagues because of the fantastic rear leg room.

    So Toyota, any chance of us having the RHD Camry Hybrid over here?

  4. I have driven Toyota Corollas’ for about 25 years and in August 2009 traded in for a one year old Auris 1.6 petrol. I was terribly disappointed with it’s lack of torque at less than 2500 rpm. If going up a slight incline at less than 50 mph in 5th gear, acceleration was nil and required changing down to 3rd gear, with the resulting rev increase, before any power became available. I may as well have had a 1.2 engine which would have given better MPG also. I do like the car otherwise and no problem on motorways or flat roads. Has anyone else experienced this with the Auris 1.6?

    1. I Have had similiar experience with my !.6 Auris: lack of zip especially on hills. Now the car is fully run in at 5000 miles things have improved a bit but performance generally not up to my previous Honda Civic.

      On the positive side I think the car is well built and comfortable. I’ve had no mechanical problems, pedal or otherwise. Its seating position is an overlooked selling point for Toyota: its about two inches higher than most cars in its class and this makes for easier acess for thsoe with arthritic knee conditions.

    2. I’m driving Auris 1.6 for 2 years now, and never had same trouble as you have. Car computer will show you when to switch gears (shift) and it is to make your drive more nature friendly and to decrease gas consumption.

    3. I have just exchanged my Auris 1.6 for a VW Golf. My previous Auris was a 2 l diesel which had plenty of torque in all the gears. I sold that because at the time the diesel was so much more expensive I changed it for the 1.6 petrol Auris which was a total nightmare on motorways as it “just wouldn’t move”. Apart from that I loved the Auris but the 1.6 engine was a great disappointment.

  5. Too complicated? What putting a car in drive and driving surely can’t be described as complicated.

    Also, economy on the Prius is amazing. I have consistantly managed 70mpg cruising on the motorway at 65-70mph. I think the Prius has got the balance between performance AND economy.

    Some eco diesel cars from other manufacturers state that they get great fuel economy – and they do, but you end up having to thrash them to get them to keep up with traffic and that has a seriously detrimental effect on economy.

  6. Hybrid cars are the way forward to save your self money. I have heard there is a down side to these cars when the environment is concerned as when taking into concideration the fossil fuels used to power the electric powered cars the co2 emissions are around double the amount that a diesel car would create. Is there anymore negatives to this car?

  7. people are knocking toyota but I drive a toyota Ipsum that has now done 151000 miles built in 1996.Its just passed it mot with no problems.Its a really good drive and will still do over 100miles an hour .KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.When are we going to get the hybrid 7 seater (ESTMA) that you sell else where ???

  8. Hi Rodney
    I agree, my Granvia is great.
    Toyota, in its wisdom realeased TWO people carrier/vans in Japan, as they felt there was a market. They sold more than estiomated so were correct.
    The UK wants the Hybrid Alphard, but the Vellfire looks the business as well

  9. Hi Emily,

    The Auris HSD is being launched this week, so a full list of specifications doesn’t exist yet. However, we’ll be posting all the information on this blog when it’s released, so watch this space!

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