Posted: Tue 5th Mar 2019

No Deal Brexit: “No plan to withdraw from the UK and stop production” says top Toyota boss

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 5th, 2019

One of Toyota’s top executives has said the carmaker has “no plan today to withdraw from the UK and stop production,” Didier Leroy, chairman of Toyota’s European operations did say however a  no-deal Brexit would be “terrible” for its UK operations.

In an interview with the Financial Times Leroy warned leaving the EU without a deal would make it “extremely complicated” to build new models at its British plants.

“If we don’t have access to the European market without a specific border tax, it seems to be extremely complicated to think about . . . introduction of another model,” he said.

Leroy was not referring to replacing the Corolla, currently made at Toyota’s Burnaston site in Derbyshire, but to adding new models to the plant. The FT states.

Toyota employs around 600 workers at its Deeside engine plant while 2400 are employed at its vehicle manufacturing plant in Burnaston.

Leroy was clear the carmaker has no plan to withdraw from the UK and stop production, he did say that a no deal Brexit would create a “mountain” of a challenge for its British plants to remain competitive.

It was “feasible” to keep Toyota’s UK plants open under a no-deal scenario, but he said the bar would “rise” – tariffs and extra border checks with Europe would put the UK business under “even more pressure”. He told the FT.

Leroy was speaking at the Geneva Motor Show where Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Europe Johan van Zyl told the BBC:

“We want a regulatory framework between the UK and EU which is the same. We hope still that that can be the outcome.”

We thought that by now we would have had a decision already about what is going to happen”.

He said Toyota would overcome any short-term problems at its Burnaston car plant near Derby, such as logistics, caused by leaving without a deal.

But preparation for no-deal has been costly, he said, and in the long term things could be “very difficult”. The BBC states.

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