Nissan Freezes UK Investment Following Brexit Uncertainty

Thu 28th Jun 2018

Japanese car brand Nissan has called on the UK Government to clear up confusion over how Brexit will work amid claims it could cost the motoring industry millions.

In a week where BMW and other big UK investors have called for clarity, Nissan has said that it will freeze investment in its Sunderland plant until it knows more.

Speaking to the BBC, Nissan Chief Executive, Carlos Ghosn said: "We have said very clearly we want to maintain the competitiveness of the UK, particularly in our case because we represent one third of the total car production of the UK in our plant in Sunderland.

"Obviously for us the stakes are very high, but it's difficult to tell you what kind of decision we're going to take without knowing exactly what is Brexit."

The big issue for manufacturers is what will the situation be at the UK borders, Honda has indicated that it could face additional admin costs of £2.1m for extra paper work and IT systems, while BMW has said it may have to consider contingency plans which may put pressure on the competitiveness of its UK production operations.

The announcements have come direct from this week’s SMMT Automotive Summit, where it has been revealed that investment into the UK market has halved in the first six months of 2018.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations."