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Toyota warns could leave UK under no-deal Brexit

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Staff Writer | March 8, 2019
Toyota Europe's CEO has warned the firm could end production in Britain by 2023 if the country exits the European Union without a deal, the Nikkei business daily said Thursday.
Johan van Zyl
Britain   Toyota Europe's CEO Johan van Zyl brings bad news
Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Johan van Zyl told reporters that "if the business environment becomes very, very difficult to operate," a withdrawal "should be on the agenda as well," the Nikkei said.

He also raised other less drastic possibilities, including scaling back production or investment, the daily said.

A Toyota spokesman confirmed van Zyl's comments.

"In the exchange of questions and answers with Japanese reporters there, he replied to a question on whether future withdrawal from the business in the UK is possible, saying it is 'an option', in general terms," the spokesman told AFP.

"Of course we have to compete and the business environment is important," the spokesman added.

But he stressed that Toyota's position on Brexit was unchanged, namely "that a hard landing is not desirable."

"But we don't know what will happen and nothing's been decided yet," he said.

The reported 2023 date is related to the firm's production cycle.