ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Companies

UK offered Nissan $100m in undisclosed Brexit aid

Support in return for manufacturing SUVs on British soil

The British government offered Nissan Motor as much as 80 million pounds ($104 million) to assemble vehicles at the Sunderland plant in northern England.   © Reuters

LONDON -- The U.K. promised up to 80 million pounds ($104 million at current rates) in support to Nissan Motor to persuade the Japanese automaker to build new sport utility vehicles here after the country voted to leave the European Union, according to a letter released by the government Monday.

The previously undisclosed October 2016 offer was conditioned on Nissan producing the new Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland plant in northern England. The company announced roughly a week after the letter was sent that it would do so but canceled the X-Trail plan Sunday.

The government had previously kept the contents confidential, citing their commercial sensitivity to Nissan. Now, with the plans called off, Business Secretary Greg Clark has disclosed the letter and announced that Nissan would have to resubmit a bid for government support.

Clark's letter to then-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn offers up to 80 million pounds in support to Nissan, in part to assist the company with research and development. The government ultimately decided to extend 61 million pounds in aid. Clark said Monday in the House of Commons that Nissan received 2.6 million pounds of the funds.

The letter says the British government "will seek to maintain the closest possible economic relationship between the UK and our European partners," regardless of "the UK's future relationship with the EU."

"In any circumstances, the Government will ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations for automotive and other advanced manufacturing," the letter continues.

Explaining its decision to build the SUVs on British soil, Nissan cited "the U.K. government's commitment to ensure that the Sunderland plant remains competitive."

The government drew immediate pushback for concealing the assistance. "Any assurances provided to Nissan, especially ones that may cost the taxpayer money, should be put in the public domain immediately," said Nicky Morgan, chair of the House of Commons' Treasury Committee, in a statement.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more