Toyota has written an open letter to its workforce reiterating its position on the UK’s EU membership.
It blames the Vote Leave and Leave.EU for “unfortunate and repeated misrepresentation” of its position, which the company has “strongly and publicly objected to”. The letter is also a response to questions from its workforce.
“It has never been the intention of Toyota to participate in the campaign and this has not changed,” the letter reads. “However, we do feel it is now essential that we clarify our position given the on-going misrepresentation of our views”.
“Toyota and Unite have said that from a business perspective, we firmly believe continued British membership of the EU is best for our operations and our long-term competitiveness.
“We believe we will face significant business challenges as a result of a decision to withdraw from the EU.”
Toyota then lays out the reasons for its position.
One of them reads: “If the UK leaves the EU, we think it unlikely that the UK can keep current trading arrangements and where there are ‘no tariffs or duties’; and this would mean we could have to pay duties on parts and cars. This could be as much as 10% for cars, leading to either huge cost reduction challenges for us or more expensive cars for our customers, with a negative impact on our sales.”
The Vote Leave campaign has used a quote from Akio Toyoda, Toyota chief executive, on the importance of UK to its business as evidence it is "not worried about Britain leaving the EU".