Nissan's UK business tough to sustain without Brexit trade deal: COO Gupta

By Tim Kelly and David Dolan

Any final exit by Britain from the European Union that worsens business conditions through increased tariffs would threaten the sustainability of Nissan Motor Co's UK operations, the Japanese car maker's chief operating officer (COO) cautioned.

Nissan, which employs 7,000 people at Britain's biggest auto plant in Sunderland, north-eastern England, in June urged for an"orderly balanced Brexit". Its latest warning, however, comes as the EU cautions Britain it has less than 10 days left to secure a deal that will govern trade from next year.

"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," Nissan's COO Ashwani Gupta told Reuters on Wednesday.

Almost 11 months after it formally quit the union, Britain and the EU have still not worked out a deal that will affect nearly $1 trillion in annual trade following a transition period that has kept custom rules in place.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned his top ministers that a trade agreement is far from certain, but that Britain would thrive with, or without, a deal.

Nissan in March said it will push ahead with a 52-million-pound ($69 million) expansion at Sunderland to build its new Qashqai sports utility vehicle.

When it announced the plan in 2016, Nissan, which builds it Leaf electric cars there, said Britain had reassured it Brexit would not affect its competitiveness.

But tariffs resulting from a no-deal Brexit would raise costs for Nissan, while any delay in parts supply from overseas due to new customs checks could slow production.

Gupta said Nissan was not seeking compensation from Britain for costs incurred from any no-deal Brexit, contradicting press reports that it and Toyota Motor Corp would do so.

"We are absolutely not thinking that and we are not discussing it," he said.

On a separate plan announced by Johnson to move up a UK ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 from 2035, the Nissan executive said his company was ready to respond.

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

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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That is a clear message from an unexpected source, meaning the company not the person. Unfortunately PM Johnson is not hearing well and is “ leading “ the UK into the worst recession since WW2 and will oversee its breakup with only Wales and England remaining.

Queen will not be pleased

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Wouldn’t buy another Nissan anyway after the Ghosn witch hunt

5 ( +6 / -1 )

who want to buy a Nissan and support this corrupted and shameful company ???????

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They have said this several times before, only in less forthright terms. As happened to other comments expressing concern about Brexit, especially a "no-deal" Brexit, some dismissed their statements as "Project Fear".

obviously our UK business will not be sustainable

That's just about as clear as you can say it. He is saying it would "obviously" be the end. 7000, plus all of their suppliers on the dole. Even if you don't care about Nissan or Nissan cars, there is a fair chance that other COOs with big investments in the UK will be thinking exactly the same.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't underestimate the Biden effect, either.

Expect a last-minute deal with the EU to rescue chances of transatlantic trade.

With BoJo truly oven-ready, should we fire up the tandoor?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If only Nissan had a international savey CEO, oh.....he is a fugitive now. Well then good luck to the gaggle of incompetent self serving prosecution deal making suits who are left.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Any chance the UK will give up on Brexit?

4 ( +4 / -0 )


I hope they will but I don't think so.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Both the EU/UK negotiators should have taken heed to refraining directives that hammer down on red lines from day one.

EU-UK relations: Council gives go-ahead for talks to start and adopts negotiating directives.

25 February 2020

This hamstrings Michel Barnier from the onset.

Handing the UK negotiators a clear bird's-eye view of EU Commission and all 27 member states strategy.

The whole ensemble should have been on the table, trade, fisheries, future relationship, withdrawal agreement and negotiated as an entire Treaty.

Nissan's UK business, for a multitude of reason was never going shut up shop and move to some Eastern European bolt hole.

The logistics would take years to implement, and the loss of productivity would make the whole endeavour economically nonsensical. All before this Pandemic.

Look, for all the so called pollical reasoning, rightly or wrongly, the UK democratically decided in a referendum to leave the European Union, it is abundantly clear this has to be respected.

End of!

Or that reduces the debate to Donald Trump refusal to accept the US Election result.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Not only in UK. All over the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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