Nissan to maintain its presence in the UK
Nissan has today announced that it is going to fabricate its new Qashqai model in the UK, as well as produce its X-Trail SUV.
This follows previous concerns that the company would allocate production of its new models to other plants in Europe following the UK vote to leave the EU back in June.
No details yet of any assurances promised to Nissan in particular but good news for the UK automotive industry in any case.
See previous posts here and here for more detail on the UK automotive sector.
UK automotive industry update
An update on the UK automotive industry post-Brexit, which we discussed a few months ago in the article here...
Brexit: Nissan boss meets PM over Sunderland plant fears (BBC)
May assures Nissan of shield against Brexit tariffs (FT)
Nissan to make Sunderland Qashqai decision ‘next month’ (BBC)
In short, Nissan is to make a decision next month on its future UK operations and investments. This follows the meetings this week with the UK government, from which some vague assurances about compensation for potential trade tariffs post-Brexit have emerged.
The decision taken by Nissan next month will have large ramifications for the UK’s automotive industry, given that the company currently produces around 30% of cars in the country.
But while we await the decision, the articles throw up a couple of immediate questions.
Firstly, is any compensation to Nissan even possible? Any reimbursement of imposed tariffs would almost certainly end up in front of the WTO.
Secondly, how long until we hear other UK-based car manufacturers demand compensation as well?
After having gone after imports of both hot-rolled coil (HRC) and cold-rolled coil (CRC) this year, will the European Commission soon be turning its attention to imports of galvanized steel? (primarily hot-dipped galvanized material (HDG))
In all likelihood yes but just how effective would any import restrictions be?
Let’s take a look at the case for implementing trade protection measures on these products and what effect they may have.
Continue reading More trade protection on the way in Europe?