Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Job fears at Toyota plants in Derbyshire and Flintshire

Toyota Burnaston plant
Production fell by almost 90,000 at the Burnaston plant in 2009

Hundreds of jobs are under threat at car maker Toyota after it announced a "surplus" of 750 posts at its factories in Derbyshire and Flintshire.

Managers said they were reviewing the situation but were not currently considering compulsory redundancies.

The firm employs about 3,500 people at its plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and another 500 at Deeside.

Toyota said it had discussed the situation with employees but had made no decision about what action to take.

The review, which is part of regular salary review discussions, is due to be completed in March.

They will do their utmost to retain the top skills they have got
Mark Todd, South Derbyshire MP

Staff at the Burnaston plant have been told one assembly line will shut, and both the Avensis and Auris cars will be made on a single line.

A statement said 2009 had been a "tough year for Toyota Manufacturing UK", but it said the decision was related to efficiency, rather than any cut in the number of cars produced.

It added that talks at the firm were centred on managing the situation in order to ensure sustainable long-term business.

In 2008 the factory produced more than 213,000 vehicles but this fell to 127,390 last year.

This reflected an industry-wide slump of 30.9% in car production in 2009.

Long-term plans

The company has indicated it hopes to raise production in 2010, despite prediction from the Society of Motor Manufacturers the year would still be difficult for manufacturers.

South Derbyshire MP Mark Todd said the news came as a blow, but he was confident about Toyota's commitment to Burnaston.

He said: "This is a very successful, high-quality business.

"In my experience of dealing with them, they will do their utmost to retain the top skills they have got at Burnaston.

"They are not short-term thinkers. They are interested in the longer term."

Unions have so far not commented on the news.

In 2009, faced with a need for smaller capacity, the Derbyshire factory adopted new working conditions leading to a 10% pay cut and a shorter working week.

A voluntary redundancy scheme was also put in place at the suggestion of employees.

But increased sales, driven by the government's car scrappage scheme, led to the factory reverting to a full-time five-day working week in August and September.

The announcement about the firm's surplus jobs comes as the car giant plans to extend a massive safety recall to Europe because of an accelerator pedal problem.

It has also issued a similar notice in China.

So far Toyota has recalled one million cars in the US and suspended sales of eight popular US models.

The company has not confirmed whether any of the models produced in the UK are affected.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
AutoWired Job fears for 750 Toyota workers - 7 hrs ago
What Car? Toyota to axe 750 British jobs - 16 hrs ago
Flintshire Chronicle Breaking News: Jobs under threat at Toyota in Deeside - 20 hrs ago
Financial TimesToyota to cut 750 jobs at Derbyshire plant - 23 hrs ago
Autocar.co.uk Toyota cuts 750 UK jobs - 25 hrs ago
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