There’s no doubt that Brexit was a factor in the Nissan announcement. How much of a factor is a moot point that even Nissan’s management might find hard to quantify. When taking long term decisions there is an element of ‘gut feel’ to risk mitigation which in their own words “Brexit does not help” ……and when they hear someone like Boris Johnson saying “F**k Business” when they raise this then I’m sure that doesn’t exactly give them a warm feeling about this country either.
But the fact is that Brexit is potentially catastrophic for the auto industry in the UK and you can’t keep ignoring warnings from them as just being partisan lobbying. Modern supply chains are complex, stream-lined, highly efficient feats of logistical planning with ‘just-in-time-delivery’ systems that absolutely depend on frictionless borders and minimal costs. Honda’s Swindon plant said they only hold stock for about an hour’s worth of Production and rely on over 300 lorries arriving every day from the continent. It’s not rocket science to understand that the mere thought that even a tiny hitch in such a process would cause directors at any of these companies to lie awake at night …… so why the Hell would they want to commit to long term investment here (even with bribes)? In their shoes I would do exactly as they seem to be doing – scale back for now and make contingency plans to shift production elsewhere - both as an emergency measure if the s**t really hits the fan and as a long term steady migration to a more auto-production friendly environment. I mean, who in their right minds would choose to open a new car plant in the UK now?