Nissan says it’s looking to source more batteries from Britain to avoid tariffs on electric cars after the UK’s trade deal with the EU.
Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said: “Brexit, which we thought is a risk… has become an opportunity for Nissan.”
Nissan opened what is now Britain’s biggest car plant in 1986 and make nearly 350,000 vehicles there annually. The company also manufacture 30,000 electric Leaf vehicles every year at their Sunderland factory, most with a locally-sourced 40 kilowatt hour battery which remain tariff-free.
But the company says more powerful versions use an imported system, which will now be bought in Britain thus creating more manufacturing jobs.
When asked about any trade disruption, Gupta added: “When I look at how Nissan has come out from the crisis of [a] tsunami, earthquake, flood, last week snow, tornadoes…, the startup problem which we are seeing in the ports is peanuts.”
“For a global manufacturer… to have additional documentation to fill a form at the border is nothing. People [are] prepared for it, we have updated our software, we have updated our processes. It’s OK.”
He added: “The market will pull more and more electrified cars, which means the return on investment on these kind of technologies will be better and better day by day.”