Nissan’s plant in northern Britain’s is the country’s largest. If it loses EU’s single market, it is likely to lose its competitive edge.
As per Nissan Motor’s CEO, in November, the company will take the strategic decision as to whether the Qashqai SUV will be produced at its Sunderland plant in Britain.
This is in relation to Britain’s historic decision to leave the EU.
Ghosn met British Prime Minister Theresa May last week and has disclosed that Brexit will have an impact on the company’s investment plans in Britain. It could even result in the halting of fresh investment in its plant in northern England.
The plant builds many of the popular models, including the Qashqai SUV, which are exported throughout Europe.
The plant is Britain’s largest and it produced 475,000 vehicles last year, 80% of which have been exported.
“We’re not asking for any advantage (from the British government), but we don’t want to lose any competitiveness no matter what the discussions,” said Ghosn to reporters at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama.
He went on to add, that the British government has reassure him that it would be “extremely cautious” in “preserving the competitiveness” of the Sunderland plant.
“As long as I have this guarantee … I can look at the future of Sunderland with more ease,” said Ghosn.
The production of the next Qashqai model is expected to begin around 2018-2019. The production time to manufacture one will determine in which plant Nissan will build its next-generation model.
Businesses are concerned that Britain is headed towards a “hard Brexit”, which means will be outside of EU’s single market and will face tariffs of up to 10% on car exports.