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June 10, 2003

JAPAN: Euro membership would be useful but it’s up to the British – Toyota

Toyota Motor on Tuesday said that it felt that British membership of the euro would make good business sense, but the decision was up to the British people and government, Reuters reported. The company’s statement followed Britain's decision on Monday to stay out of the single currency for now but to review the matter next year, the news agency added.

By bcusack

Toyota Motor on Tuesday said that it felt that British membership of the euro would make good business sense, but the decision was up to the British people and government, Reuters reported.

The company’s statement followed Britain’s decision on Monday to stay out of the single currency for now but to review the matter next year, the news agency added.

Reuters noted that Britain’s ambivalence about the euro has long been a thorn in the side of many of the world’s major car makers, which have plants in Britain that suffer when the pound is strong.

“We continue to believe that, from an export business viewpoint, it makes good sense to join the euro — provided the exchange rate is appropriate — as it provides stability on which business decisions can be made,” Toyota said, according to Reuters.

Ford chief operating officer, Nick Scheele, said on Friday that it was “a strategic imperative” for Britain to join the single currency, Reuters added.

Others have been less emphatic, with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner saying last month that adoption of the single currency would remove some uncertainty but it was not “a do-or-die issue” for investment decisions, the news agency said.

Similarly, Reuters noted, Nissan Motor chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, told the Financial Times newspaper in May that a firm commitment to joining the euro would not necessarily be crucial to the decision to build a replacement for the Almera sedan at its British plant in Sunderland or to move it elsewhere.

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