Strong pound threatens new cars say Honda and Nissan

The strength of sterling is continuing to cause problems for car manufacturers, Honda and Nissan warned last week.

Honda said it had postponed production of a new supermini at Swindon. And Nissan’s chief operating officer Carlos Ghosn said the company had not yet decided whether to move production of the new Micra to the UK.

Honda said it had not given up on small car production in the UK but had put off a decision on the supermini for three to five years because the weakness of the euro made it uneconomical.

And it unveiled plans to protect itself from the high pound by exporting its four-wheel drive CR-V to the US. It said the high demand for four-wheel-drive vehicles in North America would allow the Swindon plant to reach full capacity more quickly.

Meanwhile John Kushnaghan, managing director of Nissan UK, was in Japan this week for the company’s quarterly management meeting, where the new Micra was likely to be high on the agenda. A formal announcement is not expected until December. Ghosn said: ‘We are gathering all the information necessary to make a good decision for Nissan.’