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Nissan: Decision on Qashqai in Sunderland due next month

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn with a Qashqai model. Credit: PA

Nissan say they'll make a decision on the future production of their new Qashqai model as early as next month.

It comes after the company's Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told reporters in Japan that he can now "look at the future of Sunderland with more ease" following reassurances from the British government.

A report by the news agency Reuters says that Carlos Ghosn will make a decision as early as next month:

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,"

Ghosn said he had received reassurance that the British government 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," he said.

– Carlos Ghosn, Chief Executive of Nissan

Last week Ghosn met with the Prime Minister Theresa May after suggesting the company will halt new investment in its plant in Sunderland, unless it can agree a compensation deal with the Government.

Following the talks the Nissan Chief said he is confident the UK will remain a "competitive place to do business".

The Sunderland plant, which has been active since 1986, employs almost 7,000 people producing around 500,000 Juke, Qashqai and Leaf motors a year - about a third of the UK's total car manufacturing.


PM: Nissan 'at heart' of UK auto industry

Prime Minister Theresa May Credit: PA

Prime Minister Theresa May says that Nissan is 'at the heart' of the British automotive industry.

The Prime Minister met Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn this afternoon at Downing Street, to discuss his demands for compensation due to the increased export costs associated with Brexit.

Theresa May said:

Our automotive industry is a great British success story and Nissan has been at the heart of it. Over the past 30 years they have had an excellent relationship with the UK Government, a track record of investment and innovation, and their Sunderland plant is one of the most productive anywhere in the world - a testament both to their company and the skill of our workforce.

We are now at the start of the complex negotiating process as Britain exits the EU and I have been clear that there will be challenges ahead. But I am confident we will achieve the best deal for Britain and the Government will engage closely with employers and investors as part of our work to create a global Britain.

This Government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry to go from strength to strength in the UK, now and into the future.

That's why I was pleased to have met with Mr Ghosn today to discuss our shared belief that Britain remains an outward-looking, world-leading nation in which to do business.

We will continue to work with Nissan as we develop the environment for competitiveness of the automotive industry here in the UK to ensure its success.

– Theresa May

Nissan CEO refuses to answer reporters' questions as he leaves Downing Street

As he left Downing Street this afternoon Nissan's chief executive Carlos Ghosn refused to answer reporters' questions.

Ghosn has suggested the company will halt new investment in its plant in Sunderland unless it can agree a compensation deal with the Government for any adverse financial impact from the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU.

The boss of Nissan held talks in Downing Street with the Prime Minister over the vexed subject of Nissan's future on Wearside.


Nissan boss in talks with Theresa May over future

The Nissan factory floor on Wearside. Credit: PA

The boss of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, is holding talks in Downing Street with the Prime Minister Theresa May over the vexed subject of Nissan's future on Wearside post-Brexit.

The company has warned that future investments in the UK were under threat unless the company was compensated by the UK government for any tariffs they might have to pay for exporting cars to EU countries after Britain leaves the European single market.

We can confirm that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will be meeting with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on the afternoon of Friday 14th October. At the meeting, Mr Ghosn, Mrs May and their teams will discuss the current situation relating to Britain’s proposed exit of the European Union. The purpose of this meeting between Mr Ghosn and Mrs May is to ensure both Nissan and the UK Government have an aligned way forward that meets the needs of both the company and the country. We do not expect any specific agreement to be communicated following this initial introductory meeting of the CEO and the Prime Minister.

– Nissan spokesperson

Corbyn: "Nissan investment must be continued"

The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has told ITV News Tyne Tees that Nissan's investment in the North East must be continued.

Speaking on a visit to the region to mark 80 years since the Jarrow March, he said he wanted to speak to the company to find out exactly what it wants to maintain its investment in the area after Britain leaves the European Union.

"The key has to be this huge investment that's gone in here must be continued. Nissan are saying at the moment they are pausing that. I want investment to continue so I would rather talk to Nissan about it, even in opposition we’ll talk to Nissan about it, and find out exactly what they want."

– Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Leader

Nissan is concerned that tariffs could be placed on British goods, making them more expensive for buyers overseas.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

The Japanese car manufacture which builds 500,000 cars a year on Wearside wants the UK to pledge compensation for any tax barriers that may be raised as a result of leaving the European Union.

"If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK Government. If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation.”

– Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan

Mr. Corbyn stopped short of promising financial aid but said he did want to make sure Britain negotiates a good working relationship with Europe.

Local Councillor, John McCabe, said Mr Corbyn's approach is wise. He said, "we don't know exactly what's going to happen with tariffs so it's a bit premature for him to give a sensible comment on that decision, because we don't know what the facts are and we don't know what the exit deal is at the moment".

The grandson of the Jarrow March organiser, Peter Tarrack, said Mr Corbyn should not have to negotiate with Nissan over jobs if he becomes Prime Minister.

"He's got to watch what he's saying, but I haven't got to watch what I'm saying. As far as I'm concerned I think I would call their bluff, because if the profit margins are still there they will still make cars. If the profit margin is not there like they proved in Jarrow in the 1930s, they will shut down the factory. If Nissan want more money, they are just trying their hand as far as I'm concerned, like all multinationals do."

– Peter Tarrack, Grandson of Jarrow Marcher

'A real concern and damaging' if Nissan opts to build its new Qashqai elsewhere, says NECC

Credit: Nissan UK

The North East of England Chamber of Commerce says it would be 'a real concern' if Nissan decides NOT to manufacture its next Qashqai vehicle in Sunderland.

NECC Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham has been speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn demanded UK Government support post Brexit. His comments have caused fresh concerns over the future of the the Sunderland plant and a question mark over where the new Qashqai model will be built.

I think it would be a real concern because the Qashqai after all was designed here in Britain and has been built totally in Sunderland. It has been a phenomenal success, much more than people outside the industry appreciate and to lose that kind of support would be really really damaging.

– James Ramsbotham, NECC Chief Executive

The Japanses car manufacture which builds 500,000 cars a year on Wearside wants the UK to pledge compensation for any tax barriers that may be raised as a result of leaving the European Union.

We are determined to make sure that the UK remains the best place in Europe to run and grow a business, whether it’s one operating at home or abroad. "We are not going to provide a running commentary on every twist and turn of these negotiations. You don’t start a negotiation by telling the people you are negotiating with exactly what you plan to do. That approach won’t help us get the best deal for Britain.

– Government Spokesperson

Sunderland voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, with 61% of people voting out in this year's referendum.

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