Thousands of jobs have today been secured at Toyota's Burnaston factory after it was chosen to build the firm's brand new Auris model.
In a massive boost to its workforce, the Japanese car manufacturer has confirmed the South Derbyshire plant will produce the new model.
Most of the engines will be supplied by Toyota’s other UK plant at Deeside, North Wales.
The decision brings to an end speculation about where the new car would be built and safeguards around 3,000 jobs across the two factories.
Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark was at the Burnaston plant to mark the announcement earlier today, February 28.
He pledged his support for Toyota and moved to reassure workers the Government was fighting to secure a favourable Brexit deal for them.
Mr Clark said: "Toyota’s decision to build its new Auris model in Burnaston is testament to the highly-skilled and committed workforce that helps make the UK’s automotive sector one of the most productive in the world, and this government will continue work to create the best possible environment to maintain this fruitful relationship."
Toyota’s decision to build the new Auris at Burnaston is a boost for the factory's 2,400 workers at Burnaston. A total of 600 staff are employed at the Deeside site.
The Burnaston factory has been making the Auris ever since the car was launched back in 2006.
Some reports suggested the plant would only win the right to build the new version of the car if the Government managed to tie down a transitional Brexit deal.
The decision should secure jobs until 2025, when the Auris will once again be due for a revamp.
South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler has welcomed the "brilliant news".
She said: "This is brilliant news for Burnaston and will be welcomed by residents in South Derbyshire whose livelihoods rely both directly and indirectly on the factory.
"Toyota’s decision is testament to their long-term commitment to manufacturing in Derbyshire and the wider UK, and is reassuring as we move towards our exit from the European Union.
"I have worked closely with Toyota over a number of years and I will continue to represent their interests and concerns as one of our largest local employers."
Toyota bosses revealed earlier this week they were planning to unveil the all-new Auris at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show.
The company even released a "teaser" picture of the car, which will be given its world premiere at the event on Tuesday, March 6.
Only last year Toyota announced it was investing £240 million in the Burnaston plant.
It is using the money to introduce the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) - a new way to build cars, which involves standardising engines and components across its models.
As a result, the firm is upgrading equipment and systems that will enable the factory to make vehicles more efficiently.
Marvin Cooke, managing director of Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK), said: "This is excellent news for TMUK, our local stakeholders and British automotive manufacturing.
"It signals Toyota’s trust in TMUK’s ability to build ever-better cars for our customers.
"The introduction of a new model, based on the TNGA platform, is a big responsibility and we are committed to building vehicles and engines of the highest quality, at the best cost.
"We will constantly improve our productivity and competitiveness to help secure a bright future for TMUK."
Dr Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, said: "Producing TNGA-based vehicles locally is a key part of our plan to strengthen the global competitiveness of our plants.
"Today’s announcement that we will manufacture the new Auris at Burnaston, with most engines to be supplied from Deeside, shows our confidence in the skills and capabilities of our TMUK members."
Ever since the Brexit vote there has been continued speculation about the future of British-based car factories, including the Burnaston plant, which neighbours the A38.
The majority of cars built at Burnaston are exported to mainland Europe tariff-free.
However, when Britain leaves the EU, car exports could be subject to a 10 per cent tariff.
And while the Government continues to negotiate a trade deal with Europe, speculation over the long-term future of Toyota in Britain is likely to remain.
Company bosses have previously said that, for the time being, it is business as usual at Burnaston.
But they have stressed a competitive environment for the UK automotive industry "must be maintained in the future".
Speaking this morning, Mr van Zyl said: "As a company, we are doing what we can to secure the competitiveness of our UK operations as a leading manufacturing centre for our European business.
"With around 85 per cent 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."
Anne Coates is a senior specialist in production control and has worked at Burnaston for 23 years.
Mrs Coates, who is also a deputy convenor for the Unite union, said: "To be selected to build this new car is a real source of motivation for the team. Building a new car is an exciting journey for us.
"In terms of the longer term, we don’t really have any control over that.
"We have to leave that to politicians. All we can do is focus on the present and build the best cars we can."