TOKYO -- Britain's decision to leave the European Union may dent Toyota Motor's competitiveness in the region, but the Japanese automaker did not see it as a trigger to shift production away from the country, a senior executive said.
Speaking to reporters in Tokyo this week, Chief Competitive Officer and Executive Vice President Didier Leroy said he had trust in the UK government that it will offer "fair treatment" for all companies when negotiating agreements to mitigate the effect of Brexit.
Businesses operating in Britain are concerned the country is heading toward a so-called "hard Brexit" that would leave it outside the EU's single market and facing tariffs of up to 10 percent to export cars to the trading bloc.
Having produced nearly half of all cars made in Britain in 2015, Japanese automakers are facing decisions on how they can stay competitive in a post-Brexit Britain, as they will be exposed to any rise in tariffs.
Leroy, who also serves as chairman of Toyota's European operations, said the automaker would have to improve overall performance to offset increases in tariffs because customers won't be willing to pay more to cover the difference.