Why is Nissan so pro-EU?

Mr. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan

Mr. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan

I wrote recently about Nissan, and I wondered why their Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn was so bullish about British membership of the EU, insisting that any moves by Britain to re-establish its independence might force Nissan to reconsider its investments in the UK.  (I also recalled that Nissan and Mr. Ghosn, ten years ago, were endorsing the importance of Britain joining the €uro.  Same threat – if we failed to do so, Nissan might look elsewhere).

I noted that at the same time as Nissan was issuing these warnings, Ford was in fact closing its van operations in Hampshire and moving them wholesale to Turkey.  We thus had the contrast of one major foreign auto-maker concluding that the “benefits” of manufacturing in an EU member-state were outweighed by the benefits of a lower-cost environment in Turkey, and clearly not regarding it as a problem to supply the EU from outside, while another said the opposite.  Who was right?  And if Nissan was (as I believe to be the case) wrong, why were they peddling this line?

It occurred to me that maybe Nissan’s relationship with Renault (which according the Renault web-site owns 43.5% of Nissan) and the French government (which owns 15% of Renault) could be a factor – do we see the hand of François Hollande here?  Or had Nissan benefitted from EU funding, making it unwilling to bite the hand that fed it?  So much comment about the EU is coloured be the fact that the commentators are in receipt of (or in anticipation of) EU funding.  And I said that I would put a Written Question to the Commission on this point.  I did.  And I have the answer.

The Commission declined to comment on the motivation of Nissan and Mr. Ghosn.  They declined to comment on the issue of the French government’s control of Renault.  But they did have a few words to say about EU funding of Nissan.  I quote their answer verbatim.  Please feel free to draw your own conclusions.

“Nissan received an EIB financial support in 2009 and 2011 of EUR 640 million in total. Both the production plants in Sunderland and Barcelona each received long term loans to reduce carbon emissions and develop electric cars, in line with the applicable strategic orientations for the automotive industry (CARS 21 and CARS 2020 Action Plan). The UK production site also benefited from loans facilitating the construction of the first pilot plant in Europe for the production of batteries for electrical vehicles”.

If I’ve done my sums right, that’s well over half a billion pounds of EIB funding for Nissan.  But I’m sure that Mr. Ghosn would not let a little matter of half a billion pounds colour his judgement.  By contrast, I wonder how much Ford plans to save on its van operations by moving to Turkey?

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10 Responses to Why is Nissan so pro-EU?

  1. Neil craig says:

    I have also mentioned before that Nissan paid a cheque to CASH (Consensus Action on Salt & Health) which would otherwise have been an entirely government funded sock puppet promoting a false health scare about salt. This is consistent with them having a particularly cosy relationship with government PR & it is difficult to see any business relationship between car manufacture and salt in food.

  2. bumper says:

    Yes and I think the very same EIB bank has loaned Ford to establish its plant in Turkey. The EIB is funded by EU states and it is being used to export jobs out of the EU.Great isn’t it??

  3. silverminer says:

    Snouts in troughs…the usual story…

  4. DICK R says:

    They have been bribed by the Eurotraitors in Westminster to parrot EU propaganda , this is why any early referendum is a risky undertaking. The whole europropaganda machine will be cranked up to overdrive , the BBC , Guardian , Mirror , LibLabCon , Trade Unions , would be able to outspend any ‘No ‘ campaingn many times over. If the collaborators were to win a referendum it would be an irreversible disaster, the EU would seize on their ‘ victory ‘ as a popular mandate, the regulations and bogus treaties would come thick and fast , night after night we would be treated to a constant stream of gloating EU officials on the BBC news programmes congratulating the British people on their ‘ momentous and correct decision ‘ the Euro would be imposed within months and our position would be little different to Poland or Hungary at the hight of the soviet Empire.

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I seem to remember Ford moving manufacturing from Croatia to Turkey (I think?). Some months back around/before the Southampton shift.

    No worry…just keep borrowing. Absolutely mad.

  6. maureen gannon says:

    I used to live within walking distance of what had been Bedlam AKA by people who lived in the area as The Snake Pit. the more I see and read the more I believe thats what we should rename the fraudulent body that rule us.

  7. Mike Dawson says:

    I’m not buying a Nissan off those treasonous………

    EDITED BY MODERATOR

  8. DougS says:

    Nail on head Roger!

  9. Mike Stallard says:

    I am very much with DougS. Well researched and well written.

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