Brexit: Nissan chief ‘confident’ about UK investments after talks with Theresa May

Chief executive Carlos Ghosn had Downing Street talks with the prime minister after he had demanded compensation for the company to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU.

Ben Chapman
Friday 14 October 2016 17:34

Nissan’s chief executive said he was confident Britain would remain an attractive place for investment after Brexit.

Carlos Ghosn met with prime minister Theresa May to discuss Nissan’s future in the UK on Friday after he hinted that the Japanese car maker could halt investment unless compensation is paid for any tariffs the company might incur outside the EU.

Nissan’s Sunderland plant was opened in 1986 and employs 7,000 people making half a million vehicles each year.

Mr Ghosn said: “It was my pleasure to be here today for a positive meeting with the prime minister and key members of her government and I welcome their commitment to the development of an industrial strategy for Britain.

“Following our productive meeting, I am confident the government will continue to ensure the UK remains a competitive place to do business.”

The prime minister added: “This government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry to go from strength to strength in the UK, now and into the future.”

Reuters reported after the talks that a Nissan source confirmed a decision would be made by the end of the year as to whether to build the company’s latest model in Sunderland or another EU country.

Fears were raised prior to the meeting that Nissan, which is part-owned by French company Renault and exports 76 per cent of its UK-made vehicles to the EU would relocate as a result of the Brexit vote.

Last month Ghosn said: “If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK Government.

“If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation.”

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