LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Toyota said on Wednesday it will build the next generation of its Auris car at its English plant in a welcome boost to Prime Minister Theresa May as Britain leaves the European Union, confirming a previous Reuters report.
The Japanese carmaker will make its new Auris hatchback at Burnaston, Derbyshire, replacing the current run of the model made there, the company said in a statement.
Sources said last year that Toyota plans to build the model in Britain on the assumption that ministers will secure a transitional Brexit deal, designed to maintain current trading conditions until at least the end of 2020.
The automaker said free trade was important for the future.
“With around 85 percent of our UK vehicle production exported to European markets, continued free and frictionless trade between the UK and Europe will be vital for future success,” said Toyota Europe President and CEO Johan van Zyl in Wednesday’s statement. (Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Stephen Addison)