UK automotive inward investment dominated by Germany, the USA and Japan.

The concerns expressed by Nissan over its future investment in the UK are significant as automotive has been the UK’s most successful manufacturing sector for attracting FDI in the last 5 years.

UK Manufacturing plant FDI 2011-2015
Sector Projects
Automotive 152
Food 92
Machinery & Equipment 92
Plastic & rubber 59
Chemicals 46
Transport 42
Metals 41
Paper 33
Pharmaceutical 25
Other 102
Total 684

And Japan is one of the 3 major investment origin countries with 31 projects in the last 5 years, almost half of which were by Nissan, Honda and Toyota and the rest by their supply chain. Nissan was the largest source of projects with 7.

UK Automotive 2011-15 Project origin country
Germany 31 NAFTA 35
France 6 Japan 31
Spain 6 India 16
Other 12 Other 15
Total 55 Total 97
Overall 152

It does appear that the Japanese investment might be the most at risk:

  • Much of the German investment is in UK established operations such as Bentley, Rolls Royce and Mini;
  • Apart from Ford, much of the US investment is supplier led with at least some of this being tied to the UK market;
  • The Indian projects are linked primarily to the Tata operation with Jaguar Land Rover
  • The Japanese investors have clear alternatives – Toyota has made 6 plant investments in France in the last 5 years and Nissan has done the same in Catalunya in Spain so there are obvious alternatives.

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