NISSAN TOLD Tony Blair this week that it intends to transfer millions of pounds worth of component procurement from the UK into the eurozone.
During a meeting called to address the company’s concerns over currency issues, the car giant’s president, Carlos Ghosn, also told the prime minister that the decision over whether or not to build the new Micra in the UK hangs in the balance.
A spokesman for Nissan confirmed that the reduction in component spending would run into millions of pounds annually.
The company’s latest statement marks a significant shift from its commitment in previous years to build long-term relationships with local suppliers.
In his meeting with Blair, Ghosn stressed the importance of both exchange rate stability and sterling’s strength to Nissan’s strategy for its UK operation.
However, any expectation Nissan has of receiving large-scale government aid for its UK operation was seemingly undermined by a statement from Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary.
In a speech this week, Byers said the days of state sponsorship of industrial sectors are over. Instead, he promised the government would have an active but not interventionist role.
A raft of new reports in the last 10 days have broadly backed the UK’s membership of the single currency.
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