The boss of Toyota has hinted the car manufacturer will keep its UK plants even if Britain votes to leave the EU.
Chief executive Akio Toyoda suggested the Japanese firm was looking to “deepen” its ties and would still be operating at its factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, in 2090.
He told the Financial Times former staff had buried a time capsule at the assembly plant 25 years ago and he believed workers would be there to open it.
He said: “From now on, like Japan, we may face some pretty tough times in the UK market.
"But we want to deepen our roots to deliver ever better cars, so when that capsule is opened after 100 years, all can see we’ve built a truly British company.”
His comments came as the debate around Britain’s membership of the EU intensified, with David Cameron insisting ministers in his government do not campaign for a ‘Brexit’ until renegotiation talks finish.
Mr Cameron hopes to strike a deal on his demands at a crunch summit in Brussels next month.
Mr Toyoda suggested further investment by the car-maker could hinge on access to the wider EU market.
The company employs around 3,400 staff in both Derbyshire and its engine plant in Deeside, north Wales.
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