Nissan Issues Brexit Threat

Wed 18th Nov 2020

The future of 7,000 motor industry staff in the north east of England could be under threat if the UK government walks away from the European Union without a trade deal warns the boss of one of the world’s biggest manufacturers.

Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta has told press agency Reuters, that the company’s Sunderland plant will be unsustainable if World Trade Organisation tariffs are introduced for imports and exports in and out of the UK.

With thousands of motor industry jobs and millions of pounds of investment riding on an agreement over the UK Brexit deal, Gupta has issued a stark warning.

“If it happens without any sustainable business case obviously it is not a question of Sunderland or not Sunderland, obviously our UK business will not be sustainable, that's it.” Gupta said.

“We are the number one carmaker in the UK and we want to continue. Having said that, if we are not getting the current tariffs, it's not our intention but the business will not be sustainable. That's what everybody has to understand."

Sunderland has been home to Nissan in the UK for more than 30 years after the plant opened in 1986, and as well as building the Qashqai and the Juke, the factory is also set up to produce the equally successful LEAF EV, which will be at the heart of thinking following the government’s announcement to ban the sale of combustion engines from 2030. But Nissan is ready for the changes according to Gupta.

“That is not only the UK's transition plan, every country is talking about electrification. We are ready," he said.