Toyota has started production at its plant in Derbyshire of the first full hybrid vehicle to be made in Europe.
The first Toyota Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) vehicle was driven off the end of the production line at the Burnaston plant.
Business Secretary Vince Cable officially launched the production of the hybrid car - a combination of a traditional petrol engine and an electric motor.
The Burnaston factory will assemble the car, while the petrol engines will be manufactured at Deeside in North Wales.
Mr Cable said: "Toyota's decision to make Burnaston the only plant in the world to build the Hybrid Auris is a strong endorsement of the UK as a manufacturing base for the next generation of cars.
"It is sending a signal to manufacturers that if you're not in the UK, then you're missing out on all the strengths and skills that the UK has to offer."
Toyota's Motor Europe president Didier Leroy said: "The UK has proved to be a valuable business partner. Building on almost 20 years of manufacturing experience, Toyota's team members continue to deliver the quality, efficiency and flexibility needed to meet the exacting standards of our customers in Europe.
"A new chapter is opening today as Britain, a traditional origin of industrial innovation, becomes home to the manufacture of the first full hybrid vehicle for Europe."
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