LONDON -- Nissan has called on the British government to do more to attract automotive suppliers to the country as it worries about falling competitiveness of its manufacturing site in Sunderland, England.
"The UK is becoming more and more challenging as a manufacturing footprint,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta told journalists at an event in London on Monday held to highlight a new alliance agreement with partner Renault.
Nissan’s concern is that the UK’s shrinking automotive industry will make it harder to source parts locally as the automaker shifts to building more electric vehicles in the country.
"We are not attracting suppliers,” Gupta said. "If you don’t have a big automotive industry, what is the benefit for suppliers to localize raw materials and so on?”
There were 775,014 vehicles built in the UK in 2022, a 10 percent decline from 2021 and the lowest figure since 1956. The 2022 total was 41 percent lower than in 2019, when more than 1.3 million cars were built, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the British auto lobbying group.