The manufacturer has taken issue with its trademark appearing on Vote Leave pamphlets sent out to voters ahead of the EU referendum
9 June 2016

Toyota could take legal action against the Vote Leave campaign after its logo was used in promotional material for the UK’s forthcoming EU referendum.

A leaflet delivered to voters used Toyota's logo as part of a collage of emblems belonging to companies that, the campaign said, would stay in the UK irrespective of the referendum result.

In a statement, Toyota Motor Europe said it strongly objected and was considering a formal legal complaint over unauthorised use of its trademark. It added that the logo’s inclusion could mislead readers into thinking that the company endorsed the Vote Leave campaign.

Above: Vote Leave pamphlet allegedly misused Toyota's trademark

Toyota has previously said it believes UK membership of the EU would be best for its operations but has declined to endorse either side’s official campaign.

“It’s not just a small regional issue. It’s a UK-wide official pamphlet,” said Chris O’Keefe, Toyota Europe's senior manager of external affairs.

“People raised it with us and Vote Leave hadn’t asked for our permission. We think it gives the impression, therefore, that somehow we are endorsing or supporting the campaign, whereas in actual fact we said back in February that, as a business, our preference was to remain.

"But we’ve agreed not to take any part in the campaign and that’s why we felt it was an inappropriate use of our logo. Because we’ve had a lot of questions and misunderstandings, we felt we needed to make a public statement just to re-clarify our position.”

O’Keefe said Toyota had been in communication with Vote Leave about the issue but declined to comment on the outcome.

Vote Leave has so far not responded to requests from Autocar for comment.

Phill Tromans

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Comments
11

9 June 2016
A can of worms...I'll stay clear of the politics but that's a pretty unprofessional thing to have done.

9 June 2016
Hmmm I can't see any of the other companies mentioned being happy about this either.

Whilst these companies might not leave immediately they've all said that an EU exit could jeopardise investment, which in the longer term could also be seen as a threat to leave

9 June 2016
TStag wrote:

Hmmm I can't see any of the other companies mentioned being happy about this either.

Whilst these companies might not leave immediately they've all said that an EU exit could jeopardise investment, which in the longer term could also be seen as a threat to leave

But JCB a real British success story have pinned their flag firmly to the leave mast.. I say any company who are not committed to the UK post 23rd June, irrespective of the outcome, thats your decision, however dont let the door hit you on the way out.

10 June 2016
Citytiger wrote:
TStag wrote:

Hmmm I can't see any of the other companies mentioned being happy about this either.

Whilst these companies might not leave immediately they've all said that an EU exit could jeopardise investment, which in the longer term could also be seen as a threat to leave

But JCB a real British success story have pinned their flag firmly to the leave mast.. I say any company who are not committed to the UK post 23rd June, irrespective of the outcome, thats your decision, however dont let the door hit you on the way out.

JCB is a success story for the Bamford family more than Britain, most of their manufacturing facilities are outside of Europe never mind Britain, would be interesting to see their motivation for backing the leave campaign.

10 June 2016
230SL wrote:
Citytiger wrote:
TStag wrote:

Hmmm I can't see any of the other companies mentioned being happy about this either.

Whilst these companies might not leave immediately they've all said that an EU exit could jeopardise investment, which in the longer term could also be seen as a threat to leave

But JCB a real British success story have pinned their flag firmly to the leave mast.. I say any company who are not committed to the UK post 23rd June, irrespective of the outcome, thats your decision, however dont let the door hit you on the way out.

JCB is a success story for the Bamford family more than Britain, most of their manufacturing facilities are outside of Europe never mind Britain, would be interesting to see their motivation for backing the leave campaign.

It probably has something to do with the multi-million pound fine they've just been slapped with for breaching EU competition regs.

10 June 2016
Well done to Toyota for staying neutral! - in my company I am being told to vote to remain by an Austrian millionaire under oh so subtle threats. Can't help wondering for who's benefit....

10 June 2016
I had this leaflet through the door earlier in the week, and I thought it was pushing its luck in a few ways. Using these logos without permission is another for the list.

10 June 2016
As a non British European, I fervently hope that Britain will leave the UE. The UK has never been pro-european, and it has in practice acted as a fifth column within the Union, in short a ball and chain.
Considering this, an exit will merely be the logical consequence of decades of criticism, obstruction, false "news" (the curve of bananas being the most ridiculous), biased information about the Brussel's institutions decisions omitting completely the responsibilities of the British government in the decision-making processes. Plus the "discount" on the British contribution to the EU budget.
So I pray for an exit. A firm and, above all, a definitive one, without privileges, buts or maybes.
In all friendship, needless to say. Long live the island of Britain!

10 June 2016
n. leone wrote:

As a non British European, I fervently hope that Britain will leave the UE. The UK has never been pro-european, and it has in practice acted as a fifth column within the Union, in short a ball and chain.
Considering this, an exit will merely be the logical consequence of decades of criticism, obstruction, false "news" (the curve of bananas being the most ridiculous), biased information about the Brussel's institutions decisions omitting completely the responsibilities of the British government in the decision-making processes. Plus the "discount" on the British contribution to the EU budget.
So I pray for an exit. A firm and, above all, a definitive one, without privileges, buts or maybes.
In all friendship, needless to say. Long live the island of Britain!

This was tongue in cheek right? the suggestion that Britain in anyway 'holds back' the EU is hilarious! and mention of our rebate? what of it? we are still a very substantial net contributor, in other words a net loser! The UK needing to negotiate deals with the rest of the EU countries (or 'States' as Juncker prefers) after an exit is irrelevant as the EU will fall apart soon afterwards (the wealthier countries won't want to be left lumbered with the poor ones) and everyone will be negotiating deals with everyone else. As it should be.

11 June 2016
I fervently wish you luck after your exit. Your arguments just show you don't want to acknowledge that one of the goals of the EU is precisely for the better off countries to help the less affluent countries. Your logic is: I give so much, I'm entitled to get back as much. From this angle, it's true that there is no advantage, indeed no reason, to be in the club, is there? I'm a full supporter of your adieu.
Furthermore, you show the gifts of a Nostradamus in stating - not speculating - that the EU will crumble as an effect of Britain's departure. I prefer to wait and see how the consequences will develop both for Britain and "the Continent".

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