Nissan boss fails to commit to the Britain until Brexit details are known throwing firm's UK future into doubt

Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At CES 2017
Nissan chief exec Carlos Ghosn was spoke today at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Source: Getty)

Nissan will only decide the fate of its UK's operations when the terms of Britain's exit from the EU become clear, boss Carlos Ghosn said today at Davos.

Last October, Prime Minister Theresa May sparked controversy by providing a "letter of comfort" to Nissan saying that the UK's Brexit strategy would not harm the carmakers export competitiveness.

While some hailed the PM's move as evidence new trade agreements wouldn't harm post-Brexit Britain, others felt May had created a hierarchy as to which sectors to prioritise.

Read more: Trump, Brexit? Pah, Nissan boss says 2017 will be a record year

In return, Nissan confirmed it would go ahead with plans to build two of its most popular models – the X-Trail and Qashqai – at its mammoth north east site in Sunderland.

However, speaking at the World Economic Forum, Ghosn revealed that a decision over Nissan's long-term investment in Britain would only take place once the government had clearly articulated how the UK would extricate itself from the EU.


"Obviously when the package comes, you are going to have to re-evaluate the situation, and say, okay, is the competitiveness of your plant preserved or not?," he said, according to Reuters reports.

"We're going to have to make decisions on investment within the next two to three years. So obviously the faster the Brexit results come, the better."

Read more: Greg Clark says Nissan letter could be published

Ghosn did say that however Brexit played out, he was confident that the PM would ensure the Sunderland plant – which makes one in every three cars made in the UK – would remain competitive.

Related articles