According to UK Wire, TOYOTA has joined the queue for clarification on the government's stance on the euro. More ominously, it added to pressure on the government by saying if any aid is given to Nissan it would also ask for similar help.

"An aid package would not end with just one company. We would naturally ask for one too," Jagawa said, although he added that he thought European Union opposition would block such a deal.

He also criticised British government moves to tackle high car prices by ordering that manufacturers no longer dictate retail prices, saying it would put more pressure on carmakers with British factories.

He stressed that Japan's largest automaker was not trying to threaten the British government, saying Toyota was not in the same position as Ford Motor Co which plans to shut down the biggest plant of its loss-making UK operations. "It's not about telling the British people to join or not join the euro, that would be interference in a country's domestic affairs and would get us nowhere, but we have to talk about what should be done and what options exist on both sides," he said.

Honda, Nissan and Toyota reported their European operations in the red during the business year ended in March and said they expected another money-losing year.

A strong pound against the euro hurts manufacturers in Britain by making their exports more expensive. Japanese carmakers also procure most of their parts in Britain, which increases their costs and makes them less competitive. Distributors importing cars made in Europe benefit from less expensive imports; a factor which has recently allowed Porsche to reduce its prices. The robust pound was a major factor in BMW AG's sale of loss-making Rover to the Phoenix Consortium. said on Tuesday it wanted Britain's government to clarify its stance on joining the euro and said it would ask for aid to help cope with the pound's strength if such a deal was given to Nissan Motor Co.

Toyota executive vice president Tadaaki Jagawa, told Reuters it was time for Japanese carmakers to negotiate with the British government, which should not favour one firm, and suggested it could meet with Toyota, Nissan and Honda Motor Co individually or together.

Jagawa said Toyota was willing to bear its current pain if Britain was prepared to say when it would join the single currency. "If we were told to bear it for five years, we would bear it," he said. But he added it was easy to imagine the future of British carmaking without clarification of currency policy. "First you will see the suppliers leave, and then the automakers will begin to cut production, with their factories going to one shift, it's all too easy to visualise," he said.