Toyota People: the team members who have been at Toyota since the start

This week it is 25 years since Toyota began building cars in the UK, and during the past quarter of a century, Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) has seen well in excess of four million vehicles come off its production line.

Building work began at Burnaston in 1990 and just two years later the first vehicle, a Carina E, came off the production line.

Since then, the plant has successfully organised 13 major new and revised model introductions. Most recently, £240 million investment was secured to equip the factory for future vehicle production using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).

Today the TMUK Burnaston workforce numbers around 2,500 members, including some who have been part of the team since the start of production. Some of those long-serving staff have shared their memories and insights in a series of short films made to mark the 25th anniversary.

Toyota People: Marvin’s story

Marvin Cooke is TMUK Managing Director and is responsible for vehicle production in Burnaston and engine production at the Deeside plant in North Wales. He began his career as an engineer in the press shop in 1991.

Toyota People: Sally’s story

Sally Humbert is Senior Specialist in Quality Assurance and has been a member since 1991. Sally actually pressed the button at the line-off ceremony when the very first Carina E rolled off the production line and has worked at Toyota for more than half her life.

Toyota People: Taj’s story

Taj Singh is a Team Leader in Quality Assurance and has been with Toyota since 1993. Taj explains how Toyota’s principle of kaizen, or continuous improvement, has meant that now Toyota engineers from Japan can learn from the processes team members have developed in Burnaston.

Toyota People: Shaun and Mark’s story

Shaun Bromley and Mark Hibbs have 50 years of Toyota experience between them and in this video they explain how teamwork is key to Burnaston’s success.

Read more: 25 Objects – celebrating Toyota Manufacturing UK’s 25th anniversary
Read more: What does the three stripes on Burnaston members’ uniforms mean?


  1. After having a puncture I purchased a spare wheel from my toyota dealer who could not fit it in thecarany suggestions or is this a design fault

  2. I also joined the Burnaston team in the very early days (2nd Jan 1992) as a Maintenance team leader. My training and experience in Japan and the UK have proven to be the foundations of a long career in Lean. Many industries should take a lead from the Toyota Production System, it really does provide a roadmap to profitable growth. Great memories of my time at Burnaston.

  3. Only had three years (00-03) in Plastics with six months in a Pilot team, great set of people. Congratulations on your 25th anniversary 😁

  4. The training I got at Toyota was second to none. The experience of building a factory from scratch gave me knowledge and skills that have allowed me develop and grow further in the outside world.

    What I can see compared to others is amazing. One client recently asked if I was a wizard! “Nope, just well trained” I replied.

    Saying that, I can no longer stand in a queue at a coffee shop without saying “can they not see the waste in what they are doing? Stop walking about and just keep the coffee machine working!”

    Congratulations and thanks for everything!

  5. I have been at toyota since 2002 and there has been some tough times in that period. I have met some really good friends at the place and I hope we continue to build cars for the next 25 years.

  6. I ordered a Toyota Corolla June 2022, £500 deposit. Delivery time 9 months. Burrows Penistone Road Sheffield.
    Waited patiently.
    Went to the dealership August 2023 to find out when my car is going to be delivered, because they don’t reply to phone calls. CAZ air zone in Sheffield is now implemented.
    Now the dealership has told me my order was cancelled due to some finance criteria.
    Unbelievable, now where do I go from here ?
    Needed an upto date invoice of delivery to show the council so I will be exempt while using my current vehicle.
    Toyota had caused me a problem.
    I now need to pay council £800 in PNC’s.
    Where am I going to get £800 from ?
    If they had told me earlier I wouldn’t be in this mess. I’m a very organised and planned everything out, and through their incompetence I have to pay another corporation.
    Thankyou very much for giving me a peaceful life !

    1. Hi Zia, thanks for getting in touch.

      We are sorry to hear you are experiencing this and understand your frustration completely.

      Our Customer Relations team are best placed to advise and support you with this. They can be found here:


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