Currently reading: £20m Nissan loan 'under review'
UK's new coalition government might cut Nissan's £20m loan to build the Leaf in Sunderland

The £20 million loaned to Nissan by the former Labour government is under review by the UK’s new coalition as part of £6.2 billion in planned cuts.

The money was loaned to Nissan to partially fund the building of the new Nissan Leaf electric car at its Sunderland plant from 2013.

However, the treasury has announced all spending is under review and reports in several national newspapers have suggested the Leaf loan may be cut to make savings.

“The government is reviewing the loan,” a Nissan spokesman told Autocar, “but as far as we’re concerned we signed an agreement with BIS [Department for Business, Innovation and Skills] that we believe is binding.

“The new government has said it’s committed to a green economy and zero-emission motoring is part of this. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Media reports claim treasury ministers are consulting lawyers on whether loans such as those given to Nissan can be reversed. The previous government also handed out loans to Ford and Vauxhall, both of which will also be reviewed.

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nicksheele 26 May 2010

Re: £20m Nissan loan 'under review'

beachland2 wrote:

well obviously the uk would like to have nissan, but it seems £20m is cash they dont have to offer. The UK doesnt have any money to give, it can only make cuts right now. i suppose it could give nissan a bond or something that doesnt get cashed.

Europe doesnt have any cash so who in the world right now is doing ok, possibly china and india?

well said Beachland. The whole Green milkfloat thing has just crashed into a brick wall. As you said, if Nissan calls in its lawyers and threatens breach of contract tell them they can kiss goodbye to their five grand British taxpayer bung. 30,000 expected sales of the Leaf in UK was it? That's £150m of hard cash, which rather outweighs the £20m worth of loan.

As to Nissan(Renault) threatening to bugger off if it don't get its loot, as you say, who has got loot? Eastern Europe? You're havng a laugh. Germany has yet to offer any taxpayer cash to subsidising EVs, hence the Leaf will not go on sale in Germany. China is utterly reliant on Westerners' over-consumption. We go down, they go down. Same for India. The only country which has weathered the 2007- economic collapse is Israel. Strange. Yeah, tell Ghosn, the ethnic Lebanese Arab, to take his expensive toy to the Israelis and see if they'll fund it.

PS on reflection I think the real thing happening here is the withdrawing of the £5k subsidy, which the new UK govt. has been advised is totally unaffordable. To save face the ministers and mandarins will kick off a row with Nissan UK over the £20m loan.

golfman 26 May 2010

Re: £20m Nissan loan 'under review'

It's economics. If you have, let's say, a company making glass - who threaten to leave the country and make its 200 workers unemployed. They then say to the government, 'Give us £20 million and we'll stay here'. How much will it cost the economy if you let them sack the workers? Is it more than £20 million?

fhp11 26 May 2010

Re: £20m Nissan loan 'under review'

The leaf will not kick off in a big way...

Seriously.. How many people want a pure electric car hampered by that range?

If you want to save the planet/like to believe government lies to justify tax then wait for the Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera. At least that has an engine which means if you want to go further than 74 miles you can.

And thats before you consider the price... Near 30K before subsidies!

Even after subsidies you could get a BMW 3 series... nicer to drive (I imagine) better specced and still very efficient.

I suspect the Leaf will fall........ much like a real leaf after its moment in the Sun.