Nissan investment in doubt over Brexit
A Nissan plant in Japan: the carmaker says future investment in Sunderland hangs on Brexit negotitations | Toru Yamanaka/AFP via Getty Images
New automaker investment in the U.K. is dependent on the government allaying concerns over Brexit, the CEO of a trade association said Friday.
Mike Hawes, the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told Reuters that “the current uncertainty is not conducive to attracting manufacturing investment to the UK.”
The warning comes after the CEO Japan’s Nissan said Thursday that a major new multi-billion pound investment in the U.K. would be dependent on the government covering any potential losses caused by tariff barriers.
The carmakers CEO Carlos Ghosn indicated that a deal would need to be made with London if any investment is to happen pre-Brexit on the Sunderland plant where it might build its new Qashqai vehicle.
“You can have commitments of compensation in case you have something negative,” Ghosn said on the eve of the Paris Motor Show according to Reuters.
“If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation,” Ghosn said.
Nissan builds a third of all the cars produced in the U.K. from its factory in the English city of Sunderland — where voters opted for “Leave” in the June referendum by a margin of more than 30,000 votes.
In 2015, the U.K. produced around 1.5 million cars with more than 70 percent of those exported to EU markets. Nissan employs 6,700 staff in the U.K.