Toyota sends letter to Deeside staff slamming Vote Leave campaign.
Toyota has sent a letter to its Deeside workforce denouncing the Vote Leave campaigns continued misrepresentation of the company’s position on the EU and Thursday’s referendum.
In a letter sent to its workforce and signed by Shigeru Teramoto, the Managing Director Toyota UK,Tony Walker Deputy Managing Director of Toyota UK and Peter Tsouvallaris a Senior Representative of Unite the Union, the company sets out its stance over the EU.
The letter says:
“We are sending this letter because we would like to put the record straight in regards to Toyota’s position on the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union (EU).
As many of you have raised with us, there has been unfortunate and repeated misrepresentation of Toyota’s position by the Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaign groups in their communication material which we have strongly and publicly objected to.
It has never been the intention of Toyota to participate in the campaign and this has not changed. 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 the business perspective, we firmly believe that 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. Why do we believe this?
· Put simply our Burnaston and Deeside plants were built in the UK to make cars and engines for Europe.
· Therefore, open and free access to the European Market is of critical importance for our UK manufacturing business. Nearly 90% of all our vehicles are exported and 75% of all our vehicle production is made for our customers in the EU.
· If the UK leaves the EU, we think it unlikely that the UK can keep the current trading arrangements where there are ‘no tariffs or duties’; and this would mean we would 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.
· New trade agreements may be negotiated but these take many years to agree and the outcome is also uncertain, however we do know that they cannot be better than what we have now, 0% for our main European markets.
Toyota is committed to its factories and people in the UK as we are to our operations anywhere in the world. But, anything that adds to the cost and complexity of building cars, parts and engines here will make it harder for us to compete and win new business.
Next Thursday you will have to make a very important decision. We urge you to vote as you think is right. We hope that the information in this letter removes any confusion you may have had about Toyota’s position or the reasons behind our stance on EU membership.
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