October 26, 2017

Put out, no doubt, that the government hasn’t offered them a special deal like Nissan or the DUP, shifty Japanese car makers Toyota have been attempting to stir up unjustified worries over Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU and all the other countries with which we’ll shortly be without an in-force trade deal.

Latching on to (quite possibly unreliable) figures from ‘automotive business intelligence’ provider J2O Dynamics, doom-mongers are suggesting that a 10% year-on-year drop in new car registrations in the UK during September presages some kind of apocalypse for British motor manufacturing.

To the uninitiated ear, this might sound quite bad; but closer inspection soon reveals these figures have not been adjusted for optimism and hence are not to be taken too seriously!

For all the fuss about ‘uncertainty’ that’s currently being bandied about, it’s clear to any rational observer that once lions starts roaring and tigers are put in tanks, the future looks dazzlingly bright for the British automotive sector.

But that, of course, does not deter would-be recipients of state-backed special favours from rattling their cages. Speaking at the Tokyo motor show, Toyota’s European Chairman Didier Leroy (a foreigner, note) dropped dark hints that a ‘fog’ of uncertainty was clouding Toyota’s plans for future UK operations.

“Today we export 80pc to 85pc of production to continental Europe,” he told reporters, “so if we move to something like an import tax, trade tax or any kind of additional penalty, it will create a big negative impact in terms of competitiveness.”

This, of course, is balderdash. Toyota made it abundantly clear once and for all that it backs Britain 100% when it invested a whacking almost £250m in its Burnaston site earlier this year. Does that sound like a company that’s going to be put off by a little fog or taxes or tariffs or penalties or whatever?!

Of course it doesn’t.

So let’s hear no more of your nonsense Monsieur Leroy!


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