Toyota is backing the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union.
While saying it will not take part in the campaigning, Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, was forthright in his views.
“We have carefully considered the implications for our manufacturing operations, should the UK leave the European Union,” he said.
“We are committed to our people and investments, so we are concerned that leaving would create additional business challenges.
“As a result we believe continued British membership of the EU is best for our operations and their long term competitiveness.”
In a statement released this afternoon, two days after the date of the referendum on UK membership was announced, the company said it chose the UK for its first major manufacturing operations in Europe, in 1992, because of the “open and free access to the European market, the availability of a skilled workforce, and the presence of a strong network of suppliers”.
“Today, we are very pleased with the performance and competitiveness of our UK operations, which are wholly integrated into our European business,” the statement reads.
“We support thousands of jobs in our manufacturing operations and more widely in our supply chain and distribution network.
“We manufacture vehicles, engines and parts and nearly 90 per cent of our UK-built vehicles are exported.”
“We respect that the UK’s future relationship with the European Union is a matter for the British people to decide, and it is not our intention to participate in the campaign,” said van Zyl.
Other companies adopting the same position as Toyota on EU membership include EasyJet, Shell and BT.