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 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.

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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Comments
11

5 August 2016
That means you Autocar. The headline is Nissan's decision "depends on the impending Brexit decision ". Newsflash for Autocar - that happened on 23 Jun 16. We are leaving the EU. To be fair the article does eventually say that the devil will be in the detail of the exit negotiations for Nissan but it is a really poor headline.

5 August 2016
I wouldn't bet on it. Can you not see what mess this Brexit causing ..or are you totally blind to it all. This isn't some sort of game, thousands of peoples jobs are at stake but you probably don't care do you?. Autocar can make whatever heading they like and I think it is a perfect heading.

5 August 2016
I wouldn't bet on it. Can you not see what mess this Brexit is causing ..or are you totally blind to it all. This isn't some sort of game, thousands of peoples jobs are at stake but you probably don't care do you?

5 August 2016
Brexit will result in Tariffs being applied to cars manufactured in the UK & sold in Europe.
As a result Renualt will shift all Nissan production from Sunderland to France & Spain.
GM will shift all production from Ellsmere Port to Poland.
Ford will stop making Engines at Dagenham & make them in Romania.
Mini production will switch from Oxford to The Netherlands.
Toyota will close Derby & manufacture everything in France.
Honda will also go, & Jaguar Land Rover will start making cars for Europe in its new eastern European factory.
So thats it; UK car production from 1.6 million cars to Zilch in 2 years!!!!
All because fears of immigration vastly overdone by Boris & Nige!!!!
Good job lads, you've destroyed UK manufacturing overnight.

5 August 2016
the start of War in Europe, interest rate hikes and stock market crashes all of which were predicted

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

14 October 2016
jagdavey wrote:

Brexit will result in Tariffs being applied to cars manufactured in the UK & sold in Europe.
As a result Renualt will shift all Nissan production from Sunderland to France & Spain.
GM will shift all production from Ellsmere Port to Poland.
Ford will stop making Engines at Dagenham & make them in Romania.
Mini production will switch from Oxford to The Netherlands.
Toyota will close Derby & manufacture everything in France.
Honda will also go, & Jaguar Land Rover will start making cars for Europe in its new eastern European factory.
So thats it; UK car production from 1.6 million cars to Zilch in 2 years!!!!
All because fears of immigration vastly overdone by Boris & Nige!!!!
Good job lads, you've destroyed UK manufacturing overnight.

And why do you think the French and Germans will allow the EU to impose high tariffs upon UK goods and services poste Brexit? If the EU were to impose any tariffs upon UK exports to the EU do you not think that the UK would impose exactly the same tariffs upon EU imports to the UK? As we import far more from the EU, all those expensive German cars and nice quality French food, any reduction in trade due to high tariffs will hurt the EU countries more than us.

5 August 2016
... we're getting out - end of. It's time for all the doom-mongers to accept this and stop trying to talk the country into the pits. Britain will NOT go under! Some industries may retreat, some jobs will be lost, there'll be hiccups ... but business, as well as nature, abhors a vacuum, and new ones will be created, and maybe an increase in the cost of some imported goods (from the EU) will actually generate opportunities for a much-needed resurgence in UK manufacturing, not to mention new deals with non-EU countries. Yeah, it'll take time, but it will happen, and y'know what? ... this great country will do just fine. Oh, and I voted to remain.

Wide cars in a world of narrow.

5 August 2016
The UK government realised in the 60s that Britain had no future unless it joined the "Common Market".Back in those days Britain made lots of "stuff" that is now made almost exclusively in China. Britain can prosper again in the 21st century, outside the EU, if workers are prepared to accept Chinese wage rates.....

5 August 2016
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...

jer

15 October 2016
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.

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