This post comes from Autoblog Open Road, our contributor network. The author is solely responsible for the content, and any opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Autoblog and its editors.
The problem is simple according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: "For us, a position of stability is more positive than a collection of unknowns. It makes the most sense for jobs, trade and costs." For sure Nissan is not going to shut its plant in northeast England if the country exits the Union, but this could change plans for the future, as the so-called Brexit could cause an increase on costs and above all on competition.
Nissan employs 8,000 people in the UK across its manufacturing, engineering, and design facilities, and a further 32,000 indirectly through dealerships and its supply chain. All these people produce almost half a million cars and 80 percent of those are exported, so just imagine how taxes could affect prices and sales.
If the EU's borders get smaller, Nissan will face some problems with customs duties the foreign products struggle with, as other Japanese automakers have so far, while importing their cars into the Union. Nissan is not the only maker interested in the outcome of the referendum to be held June 23; BMW is of the same mood, hoping Brexit won't become reality.
The Germans already warn Mini and Rolls-Royce employees that the exit of UK from the Union could cause problems with increasing costs and higher prices due to tariff barriers. BMW CEO Harald Krueger at the Geneva auto show said "a UK vote to exit the European Union would cloud the future of the automaker's UK brands, which include Mini, along with Rolls-Royce".
What's happening in this case is not only an English issue. In fact, although every decision taken by the UK's people must be respected, the automakers are right when saying they hope it is not going to happen, as you hope no one changes the cards during the game.