The UK-EU trade deal avoids a 10% tax on cars as long as they meet a minimum level of locally sourced parts.
Japanese automaker Nissan will buy more batteries from UK to avoid tariffs on electric cars after UK trade deal with the EU, which a senior executive says turned Brexit from a risk in an opportunity for its factory in North East England.
Director of operations Ashwani Gupta also told Reuters news agency that Brexit issues in ports since January 1 have been ‘peanuts’ for Nissan, which has had to deal with COVID-19 and natural disasters.
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, London and Brussels struck a trade deal on December 24 that avoided major disruptions as well as a 10% car tax, provided they followed car rules. local content.
Nissan manufactures around 30,000 Leaf electric cars at its Sunderland plant, most with a locally sourced 40 kilowatt-hour battery. They remain free of rights.
But more powerful versions use an imported system, which will now be bought in the UK, creating jobs.
“It will take a few months,” Gupta told Reuters.
“Brexit, which we thought was a risk… has become an opportunity for Nissan,” he added.
When asked about the business disruption, Gupta told reporters, “When I look at how Nissan came out of the crisis in [a] tsunami, earthquake, flood, snow last week, tornadoes… the starting problem that we see in ports is peanuts.
“For a global manufacturer… having additional documentation to complete a form at the border is nothing. People have prepared for it, we’ve updated our software, we’ve updated our processes. Its good.”
The effect of Brexit will vary among automakers.
Nissan opened what is now the UK’s largest car factory in 1986 and manufactured almost 350,000 vehicles there in 2019.
In contrast, Ford, which imports everything it sells in Britain, has increased some prices in the UK due to content originating in the United States.
Without any electric car production in the UK, Carlos Tavares, the managing director of Stellantis – recently formed following the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA group – criticized a UK ban on the sale of new conventional cars from of 2030, while he future of his factory.
But Gupta said the UK policy will boost Nissan’s UK-made models.
“The market will attract more and more electrified cars, which means that the return on investment of this type of technology will be better and better day by day.”