Nissan says Brexit deal positive and commits to UK
Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer of Nissan, told the BBC: "The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. We are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK as the largest automaker in the UK."
As a result of the trade agreement reached between the UK and the EU, Japanese carmaker Nissan has told the BBC that its Sunderland plant is secure for the long term. It said that it will shift additional output of batteries close to the plant where it has 6,000 direct workers and supports about 70,000 supply chain jobs. The batteries in its Leaf electric cars are currently imported from Japan. Nissan would not confirm whether this would mean additional employment at Sunderland, the largest vehicle plant in the UK. The manufacture of more efficient batteries in the United Kingdom would ensure that its vehicles comply with the trade rules negotiated with the EU, requiring at least 55% of the value of the vehicle from either the United Kingdom or the EU to qualify for zero tariffs when exported to the EU.
Some 70 percent of the vehicles produced in Sunderland are exported and the vast majority is sold in the EU. Last year, Nissan gave strong warnings that if the UK left the EU without a trade agreement, the resulting tariffs on cars and parts would make the Sunderland plant "unsustainable." Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer of Nissan, told the BBC: "The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. We are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK as the largest automaker in the UK." For Sunderland, it has created a competitive atmosphere, not only within the UK, but also outside.
Under the market conditions that have been negotiated, we are committed to Sunderland for the long term. It came as Nissan on Friday paused one of its two production lines in Sunderland as the supply chain was disrupted by disruption at ports caused by the pandemic. The firm said the move would affect the line that produces the Qashqai and Leaf, but next week work would resume. Company Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng accepted Sunderland's recognition as a manufacturing base by the firm. "Nissan's decision represents a genuine belief in Britain and a huge vote of confidence in our economy thanks to the certainty our trade deal with the EU delivers," he said. It means that the city will be home to Nissan's latest models for years to come for the dedicated and highly-skilled workforce in Sunderland and will position the company to capitalise on the wealth of benefits that will flow from the production of electric vehicles. It is especially welcome after last week's more guarded comments from the boss of the parent company of Vauxhall.