Jan 22, 2021
Nissan says Brexit deal 'positive' and commits to UK
Japanese car maker Nissan has told the BBC its Sunderland plant is secure for the long term as a result of the trade deal reached between the UK and the EU. It said it will move additional battery production close to the plant where it has 6,000 direct employees and supports nearly 70,000 jobs in the supply chain. Manufacturing the more powerful, longer-lasting batteries in the UK will ensure its cars comply with trade rules agreed with the EU requiring at least 55% of the car's value to be derived from either the UK or the EU to qualify for zero tariffs when exported to the EU. Some 70% of the cars made in Sunderland are exported and the vast majority of them are sold in the EU. Nissan had issued stark warnings last year that if the UK left the EU without a trade deal, the resulting tariffs on cars and components would make the Sunderland plant "Unsustainable". Industry voices welcomed the news from Nissan but reinforced the message from Vauxhall's owners that the government needs to do more to secure the future of the car industry as it electrifies. "The battery plant in Sunderland may be enough for Nissan's near-term plans to build tens of thousands of electric cars but the UK made 1.5 million cars last year and all will be partly electric by 2030," Mike Hawes said. In the four years since it has averaged around £1bn - a fall of 71% at a time when the technology and map of car production are going through their biggest revolution since the car was invented.
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