Economy

Nissan commits to UK after Brexit trade deal

Nissan commits to UK after Brexit trade deal”

"This announcement not only reinforces Sunderland's reputation in electric vehicle production but also as the United Kingdom centre for battery manufacturing", he said. "It depends on which auto, but competitiveness is definitely improved in electric vehicles", said Ashwani Gupta, speaking from Yokohama, Japan.

The plant employs 6,000 workers directly and nearly 70,000 through its wider supply chain.

Nissan had previously warned that a no-deal Brexit would threaten its Sunderland factory, which manufactures models including the Juke, Leaf and Qashqai.

Nissan's Sunderland hub employs 6,000 workers, and produces 400,000 cars annually, mostly for export.

Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta also said Brexit-related problems at ports since Jan 1 were "peanuts" for Nissan, which has had to handle COVID-19 and natural disasters.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed the news that the company would stay in Sunderland.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Nissan's decision represents a genuine belief in Britain and a huge vote of confidence in our economy thanks to the certainty our trade deal with the European Union delivers".

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The news came as Nissan paused one of its two production lines on Friday as disruption at ports caused by the pandemic affected its supply chain.

In May previous year, hundreds of workers in a Nissan plant in Spain protested at an announcement that the company would close its manufacturing there, at the same time as chief executive Makoto Uchida confirmed production would remain in Sunderland.

Without UK electric vehicle output, Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares has criticized a UK ban on the sale of new conventional cars from 2030, as it decides the future of its factory. Unions have called for the recently merged Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group - now known as Stellantis - to confirm that it will invest in electric auto production in its Ellesmere Port and Luton factories.

"We've made a decision to localise the manufacture of the 62KW battery in Sunderland so that all our products qualify [for tariff-free export to the EU]".

James Ramsbotham. chair of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: "It absolutely secures the immediate future which is great news and we absolutely celebrate that".

The last-minute free trade agreement struck on Christmas Eve means the vehicle industry avoided the immediate imposition of tariffs or quotas.



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