Nissan: ‘Ten per cent tariffs would put European business model in jeopardy’

Nissan: ‘Ten per cent tariffs would put European business model in jeopardy’

NISSAN’S European chairman Gianluca de Ficchy says a Brexit departure which involved the introduction of 10 per cent tariffs on cars exported to Europe would put the company’s current business model ‘in jeopardy’.

Speaking at the manufacturer’s Sunderland plant – where the manufacturer is today marking the start of production of the new Juke following a £100 million investment – he said the Japanese car giant had worked through various scenarios associated with Brexit.

But he said Nissan could not manage the uncertainty it currently faces when trying to plan for the future.

Two thirds of the components for the new model come from the EU and 70 per cent of production is aimed at the Continent.

Mr de Ficchy said: ‘If we are in a situation in which tomorrow we have to apply 10 per cent export duties to 70 per cent of our sales, the entire business model for Nissan Europe will be in jeopardy.’

Mr de Ficchy said he had no specific message for the Prime Minister, but said business currently had no clear understanding of the ‘future evolution of the Brexit decision’.

Mr de Ficchy said the decision to end night shifts at the Sunderland plant was not linked to Brexit but was aimed at optimising the two production lines for the models built there, including new Juke.

He said the workforce at Sunderland was an asset to be preserved, with a successful history of producing 10 million high-quality vehicles.

‘We know the workforce is concerned about Brexit – we are also concerned. That’s the reason we are here – to express our concerns.’

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