Automotive industry

Honda’s exit is based on many factors, but Brexit is certainly one | Larry Elliott | Business – Business Article

We told you so. That will be the reaction of Britain’s leading business groups to the news that Honda is to close its Swindon plant with the loss of about 3,500 jobs in 2022. For at least a year, bodies such as the CBI, the EEF and the British Chambers of Commerce have been telling ministers that the uncertainty caused by Brexit would have serious consequences. The Honda announcement – with its knock-on consequences for its UK supply chain –…

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‘Shattering body blow’ as Honda plans to close Swindon factory | Business – Business Article

Honda is planning to close its factory in Swindon dealing what trade unions called a “shattering body blow” to an automotive sector already struggling with the effects of Brexit-related uncertainty. The Japanese carmaker, which employs 3,500 people in the UK, is thought to be planning to shut the Swindon plant, its only factory in Europe, from 2022. It is expected to move production back to Japan, partly because it can guarantee tariff-free exports to the EU, according to Sky News.…

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Porsche asks UK buyers to commit to 10% no-deal Brexit surcharge | Business – Business Article

Porsche is asking British customers to sign a contract committing them to pay a surcharge of up to 10% of their vehicles’ purchase price if there is a no-deal Brexit. Cars made in Europe could attract tariffs of 10% if imported to the UK under the terms of the World Trade Organization, the default trading relationship if the UK and the EU are unable to agree a transition period before 29 March. The car industry is particularly exposed to the…

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Blow for Carlos Ghosn as Renault votes unanimously for pay cut | Business – Business Article

Renault’s board of directors has voted unanimously to strip former boss Carlos Ghosn of up to €30m (£26m) in pay and severance. Renault issued a statement on Wednesday saying its board had agreed to waive Ghosn’s non-compete clause and as a result the company would not be paying the compensation linked to this agreement. The move has the backing of the French government. This amounted to two years pay, worth €4-5m, plus about 460,000 performance shares worth up to €26m…

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Jaguar Land Rover posts biggest quarterly loss of £3.4bn | Business – Business Article

Jaguar Land Rover announced its biggest quarterly loss on Thursday after it was forced to take a £3.1bn write-down on the value of its investments as Chinese demand slumped. Britain’s largest car manufacturer, which is owned by India’s Tata Group, made a £3.4bn pre-tax loss in the last three months of 2018 as sales fell. It anticipates a loss for the financial year as a whole for the first time in a decade. Half of the £3.1bn non-cash charge was…

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UK carmakers allotted £150m in state aid in attempt to save jobs | Business – Business Article

Government pledges of £80m in support to Nissan were part of a package of almost £150m in state aid promised to leading carmakers since the EU referendum in 2016, as ministers tried to prevent an exodus of jobs from the UK. Support offered since October that year has totalled at least £64.1m, according to Guardian analysis of EU data on state aid. The business secretary, Greg Clark, was on Monday forced to admit that Nissan had been offered £84.2m since…

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UK economy slumps into stagnation as Brexit uncertainty hits demand – business live | Business – Business Article

“Service sector growth ground almost to a halt in January, matching similar disappointing news in the manufacturing and construction sectors. The last three months have seen the economy slip into its weakest growth spell for six years, and indicate that GDP likely stagnated at the start of 2019 after eking out modest growth of just 0.1% in the fourth quarter. “With the exception of July 2016, when demand contracted briefly following the surprise Brexit vote, service providers suffered the largest…

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Nissan was offered secret state aid to cope with Brexit, minister concedes | Business – Business Article

The business secretary has been forced to admit the existence of a previously secret package of state aid to Nissan that could have been worth up to £80m had the carmaker gone ahead with plans to manufacture a new model X-Trail in Sunderland after Brexit. Greg Clark released a letter dated October 2016 in which he pledged tens of millions of taxpayer support and promised the Japanese company it would not be “adversely affected” after the UK left the EU.…

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Falling diesel sales more than Brexit behind Nissan’s X-Trail decision | Business – Business Article

When Nissan announced its intention to build the new X-Trail in Sunderland in October 2016, it was hailed by the government as a vote of confidence in Britain, so soon after the referendum result that had shocked Japanese carmakers. Theresa May was personally involved in lobbying the company, giving assurances to Nissan’s ousted chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, shortly before the decision. The government’s promises that Nissan would not be harmed by Brexit included pledges to ensure supply chains were not…

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Nissan warns of Brexit concerns as Sunderland U-turn confirmed | Business – Business Article

Nissan has confirmed it is abandoning plans to build a new model of one of its flagship vehicles at its Sunderland plant, as it warned that uncertainty over Brexit was affecting businesses. The Japanese car manufacturer announced in 2016 it would be making the new version of the X-Trail SUV at the factory in north-east England after receiving unspecified assurances about Brexit from the government, but on Sunday it said it would be produced in Japan. Nissan said it had…

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We must rule out a hard exit. Business is at breaking point | Politics – Business Article

The clock is ticking. In the House of Commons, MPs spend hours debating points of parliamentary procedure, but are unwilling to take real decisions about our country’s future. Negotiations between the prime minister and EU leaders seem to have reached an impasse. But in the real world, businesses are at breaking point. I know from my own business career that – above all – what business needs is certainty. Certainty about the terms on which they will be able to…

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Brexit warnings by Airbus and Siemens cannot be ignored | Business – Business Article

Empty threats, say Brexiters of the claims made by Airbus and Siemens that plans are under way across industry to slash investment budgets and possibly close factories should the UK quit the European Union’s single market and customs union on 29 March. Worse than that, Mark Francois MP, an arch Tory Brexit campaigner, says it amounts to bullying. He said Airbus’s German boss was guilty of “Teutonic arrogance”. Yet, without a deal – one that at least keeps the UK…

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