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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars ‘not seeking assurances after Brexit vote’

Time 5 years ago

ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars won’t follow in Nissan’s footsteps in seeking special assurances from the government if the UK leaves the EU’s single market, the chief executive has said.

Renewing the company’s commitment to Britain, Torsten Müller-Ötvös told the Press Association that the Goodwood-based luxury car manufacturer had not had any communication with the government, despite high-level communications between Downing Street and Nissan.

‘We don’t have any agreements with the government so far, and there is currently no intention to structure any deals with the government, and we are also not threatening the government that we would withdraw from the country,’ he said.

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His comments follow an announcement from Nissan in October confirming it would be making two new car models in its Sunderland plant, securing 7,000 regional jobs, despite speculation it might quit the UK following the vote to leave the EU.

MPs have been pushing the government to reveal the details of a letter sent to the Japanese car maker in the wake of the Brexit vote, though ministers have strongly denied suggestions that Nissan was offered a ‘sweetheart deal’ with financial incentives to persuade it to stay in Britain.

‘It’s hard for me to comment on what kind of situation they had been in, because we have already invested quite major amounts into that whole operation,’ Müller-Ötvös, pictured, said.

‘If I had been confronted today as a company with significant major investments into the UK, I of course would ask questions: Is it still all right to be here or should I invest somewhere else?’

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In the company’s trading update last Monday, it revealed a six per cent jump in car sales last year.

However, the BMW-owned Rolls-Royce declined to comment when asked whether UK jobs would be at risk if Britain leave the EU’s single market. Around 1,700 people are employed by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Müller-Ötvös wrote to workers last March, warning them that an exit from the European Union would drive up costs and prices and could affect the company’s ’employment base’.

Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

MORE: Nissan’s Sunderland pledge receives widespread praise

MORE: Rolls-Royce’s flagship London dealership celebrates record year

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