Toyota products and people have been honoured in the 2019 Autocar Awards, with the new, British-built Corolla recognised as a “Game Changer” for the market and Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota GB President and Managing Director, named as an “Outstanding Leader”. The awards were presented yesterday at a ceremony at the Silverstone race circuit.
The all-new Corolla – the 12th generation of the world’s biggest-selling model name-plate – was one of six models hailed as Game Changers. Announcing the award, Autocar Editor Mark Tisshaw said: “Just when investment in UK car manufacturing is slowing, here’s an affordable mass market family hatch, built right here in the UK. It’s streets ahead of its predecessor to drive, and utilises the super-efficient hybrid technology its maker has been perfecting for decades, with enormous global success.”
Corolla’s award was accepted by Marvin Cooke, Managing Director of Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK). The Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports are both built at TMUK’s Burnaston factory, with hybrid engines supplied by its sister plant at Deeside in North Wales. TMUK benefited from £240 million investment to prepare for production of vehicles using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), improving its competitiveness and promoting efficiency in its UK supply chain.
Andrew Cullis, Toyota GB Communications and Product Director, said: “This is great recognition for what Corolla brings to the market. We have increased capabilities and the customer appeal of our self-charging hybrid technology in cars that deliver a significantly more rewarding drive and which benefit from the most sophisticated new safety technologies. The fact that Corolla is built right here in Britain is another great asset, not just for Toyota, but also for the wider UK motor industry.”
Paul Van der Burgh was announced as one of Autocar’s Outstanding Leaders, industry figures recognised for their “exceptional skills to motivate colleagues and help make their cars or companies more successful.”
Editor Tisshaw said: “Paul Van der Burgh stands behind one of the industry’s best success stories of recent years. Toyota’s models used to be firmly in the middle of the pack, but in recent years have become some of the industry’s most boldly styled. Its volume-selling models have much better driving dynamics, and there has also been an eye-catching renewal of its sports car range. All this progress has been combined with a continuing push into hybrid and hydrogen technology, an area where Toyota already has a head start on the rest of the industry.”
Van der Burgh has held the top role at Toyota GB since July 2015, since when the company has regularly achieved high rankings in the annual Sunday Times annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list. As one of Toyota’s top national sales and marketing companies in Europe, Toyota GB, including its Lexus Division, has achieved sustained market success, supported by a national network of more than 200 retailers.
He said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award, which in truth is recognition not for my work in isolation, but for the brilliant and crucial efforts invested by the whole team at Toyota GB, our retailers and our business partners. It is with their fantastic commitment and enthusiasm that we are proud to be delivering on Toyota’s ambition to provide even better mobility for all with exceptional experiences for our customers.”