Nissan chairman warns against effects of no-deal Brexit

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The Japanese carmaker's European chairman, Gianluca De Ficchy, told reporters that a 10 percent tariff on vehicles could make the business environment "unsustainable" for the firm.

Nissan's European boss, Gianluca de Ficchy, said that the Juke "represents a further £100m investment in our Sunderland plant and is designed, engineered and manufactured in the United Kingdom for European customers".

The factory is also due to build the new Qashqai model from next year but the firm has previously said it could review that 2016 decision especially if there is a change to "free trade agreements".

"The only clear conclusion we have reached is that if there were to be a no-deal Brexit with the imposition of WTO tariffs, it will not be sustainable", he said.

The company said that, along with other firms with major investments in the United Kingdom, it was waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union will look like.

"We have been working together in Europe to define all the risks associated with Brexit coming in and we think we are all really well prepared".

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Mr de Ficchy said there was uncertainty over whether there would be a deal, or no-deal, and what no-deal would represent.

Our industry works with lower margins and, if we are in a situation in which tomorrow we have to apply 10 per cent export duties to 70 per centof our production, the entire business model for Nissan Europe will be in jeopardy'.

While it is impossible to say how disruptive a hard Brexit would be, the impact of tariffs is more certain and would put the future of Britain's biggest auto plant in doubt, De Ficchy said.

"Ten million vehicles later, Sunderland is the biggest United Kingdom auto plant in history and the all-new Juke is the most connected Nissan auto".

He said: "We know the workforce is concerned about that situation (Brexit) - we are also concerned". He added that Nissan still believes Sunderland - which directly employs 6,500 people - has strong assets.

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