Japanese car manufacturer Toyota will continue to strengthen links with the UK as it begins production on the new Auris estate car at Burnaston in Derbyshire.
Didier Leroy, chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, said that the UK was first selected by the car maker as its base in Europe 20 years ago.
Since that point, the firm has regularly made further investments to develop its operation here, Mr Leroy added.
The most recent development has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable.
He said that production of the Auris Touring Sports vehicle at the Burnaston factory was a good way to mark the "significant milestone" of two decades of manufacturing in the UK.
Dr Cable added: "Toyota's £185 million investment is good news for the UK supply chain and helping to improve skills and training.
"Eight hundred workers have already been recruited and offered Toyota production apprenticeships."
The Government's industrial strategy is likely to contain more partnership initiatives with companies to attempt to boost economic growth, according to Dr Cable.
He cited the Automotive Council as a good example of how this could work in practice.
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