Nissan wants compensation deal before Britain exits EU
Irish Sun (IANS) Saturday 1st October, 2016
London, Sep 30 (IANS) Japanese car giant Nissan has threatened to scrap a potential new investment in Britains biggest car plant, unless the British government pledges to reimburse firms for the hit they could take from the country’s exit from the European Union, a media report said.
Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Britain car-makers should get compensation for any tariffs that may be imposed after Brexit, the Independent reported.
The plant in Sunderland, which produces about a third of the Britain’s all car output, is heavily dependent on exports to the single EU market.
Ghosn said: “If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the British government.”
“If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for car-makers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation,” Ghosn added.
The site in Sunderland is Nissan’s biggest factory in Europe. It employs almost 7,000 persons and supports a further 20,000 in the local supply chain.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) backed his warning, saying that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government should step in to maintain the competitiveness of the sector.
Mike Hawes, SMMT’s Chief Executive, said: “The government must do all it can to maintain the competitiveness of the Britain automotive sector, which has been hugely successful in boosting exports, creating jobs and generating economic growth in recent years.”
Ghosn’s comments came only two days after Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover Hanno Kirner said that post-Brexit trade barriers imposed on the British car industry would “frankly be disastrous” if the right deal is not reached.
If Britain failed to conclude a free trade deal with the rest of the EU and was forced to fall back on basic World Trade Organization rules, British car exporters could face tariffs of up to 10 per cent.
Some 57 per cent of the 1.6 million cars made in Britain are purchased by buyers in the rest of the EU. The next largest market is the US (12 per cent), followed by China (7 per cent).