North East Wales

Toyota's Flintshire factory exports car parts to Japan

Car giant Toyota is to start exporting car parts from its Flintshire plant back to its Japanese homeland.

The company will export its Avensis model to the home of Toyota, where European cars are in fashion.

Machine parts from the Deeside factory are also being sent to the Far East.

Tony Walker, deputy managing director of Toyota Manufacturing UK, said "things are really looking up," after a difficult period which saw the factory temporarily halt production.

The Avensis is built at Toyota's Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, with its engines manufactured on Deeside.

Non-production days were held earlier this year as a result of parts shortages after earthquakes and tsunami devastated large parts of Japan.

Mr Walker said: "I'm delighted to say that basically we're back to normal production now.

"During March, April and May we did have reduced production volumes because of a shortage of components from European suppliers who had sub components coming from Japan.

"We're now back to normal production and in fact production is increasing.

"You may have heard that we have just started exporting the Avensis tourer estate car version back to Japan.

"There is a big passion for European styling.

"And also we are exporting machine parts from the engine plant here back to Japan as well, which is a real endorsement of the quality of the products we are making."

Hybrid engine

Mr Walker added that the company was hiring staff at an agency.

The company opened its doors to teachers and careers officers on Wednesday as part of the UK Government's See Inside Manufacturing scheme.

The project is designed to encourage young people to take careers in the sector.

UK manufacturing minister, Mark Prisk, who visited the site, said: "We want to make the UK a leader in the research, development, demonstration, manufacture and use of low and ultra-low carbon vehicles.

"With Toyota's plant in Deeside manufacturing the first full hybrid engine to be made outside Japan, it is helping the UK lead the way."

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