Currently reading: Ghosn hails 'positive and productive meeting' over Sunderland plant future
Carlos Ghosn and PM Theresa May have discussed Nissan's future in Britain, with the Nissan boss describing the meeting as 'positive and productive'

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has met with prime minister Theresa May to discuss Nissan's continuing investment in its Sunderland plant. 

Nissan has confirmed that it will expand production at its Sunderland production site, despite Brexit concerns

Ghosn recently said the company’s future investment depends on the negotiations surrounding Brexit. Following today's meeting, which he described as "positive and productive", Ghosn said the government "will continue to ensure the UK remains a competitive place to do business". 

"I welcome their [the cabinet's] commitment to the development of an industrial strategy for Britain."

May said she was "pleased to have met with Mr Ghosn today to discuss our shared belief that Britain remains an outward-looking, world-leading nation in which to do business. We will continue to work with Nissan as we develop the environment for competitiveness of the automotive industry here in the UK to ensure its success."

Neither Ghosn nor Nissan have made any official announcement about the company's future investment since the meeting, but the discussion brings Nissan one step closer to making a decision on whether to continue its UK production investment as planned. 

The BBC reported Ghosn’s previous comments, as well as his warning that Nissan’s continued investment would be put at risk by the vote to leave the EU.

The Sunderland plant employs 6700 people and manufactures half a million cars per year. Nissan claims it is the biggest car factory in the UK.

At the start of the year, Nissan invested £26.5 million in the battery manufacturing part of its Sunderland operations to continue Nissan EV production at the plant, as well as ramping up production of the Nissan Qashqai, which is also built in Sunderland.

Ghosn remained diplomatic, despite having favoured the UK staying in the EU ahead of the referendum on 23 June. “We are reasonably optimistic at the end of the day common sense will prevail from both sides,” he said.

He went on to say Nissan’s level of investment in the UK depended on the agreement reached between the UK and the EU over customs and trade, although he was clear that prices of European-built cars will rise in the UK as sterling weakens post-Brexit. Nissan has since announced price rises of 1.5% this month.

Nissan’s market share has dropped in 2016. Its 5.15% decline represents 0.5% of total UK car registrations. Despite the Brexit vote, Nissan’s sales were buoyant in July, with a minor increase over the same month in 2015.

Nissan partner Renault, on the other hand, had a bad July, with a 31% reduction in July sales compared with July 2015, despite an overall year-to-date market share growth of 14.2% over 2015.

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Vauxhall’s future in the UK has also been called into question following the EU referendum, sparking fears that the UK’s prolific car manufacturing industry may suffer as a result of the vote. 

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dougflump 15 October 2016

Chicken Licken

Somebody please correct me but apart from Honda all the foreign car factories have received subsidies from the UK government over the years amounting to quite a sum ( just like the rail industry) and hasn't this country been mentioned by the German car companies as treasure island.. the place where their biggest profits are made or did I imagine that the UK car mags had told me this over the years.. does anyone else remember.
There are other things happening in the world.
Just for starters..China has just become one of the big players in the IMF. The Renminbi is now one of the reserve currencies, all the other reserve currencies have changed in relation to each other, so Sterling and the Euro the Yen and the Dollar have had to adjust and will continue to do so.
Or is it true as the majority of the UK media is saying "the sky is falling in!
jer 15 October 2016

Get over it...

They will close Sunderland eventually. I know how the French operate. There will be huge political pressure to close it. Why employ outside the EU when you could employ in France? I hope Sunderland gets over it.
jensen_healey 5 August 2016

Blame it on the Brexit

We, the UK, voted democratically to leave an obviously failing political union. That's all. The media and some politicians and business leaders now have a convenient hanger to attach racism, hate crime, financial downturn and unpopular commercial decisions to. Businesses make decisions first and foremost on commercial issues - with Sunderland being a highly productive plant, and the Qashqai a consistent top ten seller, Nissan aren't going to be abandoning the UK anytime soon. Which is basically what Mr Ghosn is saying, despite the sensationalist headline...