Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by Renault Nissan


  In our letter of 4 October we mentioned that Renault and Nissan were still evaluating their position concerning the options being considered for implementation of the directive. Following further discussions with other manufacturers we can say that both Renault and Nissan support the proposals made to the Select Committee by the Ford Motor Company.

  In our view, implementation of the directive should provide benefits to a number of interested parties. The key benefits of the Ford proposals we see as follows:


    —  No cost would be incurred by the last owner of a vehicle when it is returned to an Authorised Treatment Facility.

    —  The last owner of a vehicle would be able to decide to which Authorised Treatment Facility it is returned.


    —  Establishment of an ELV network system driven by a free market.

    —  Increased competition between Treatment operators.

    —  Sharing of the burden of disposal between all economic operators.


    —  Introduction of a market mechanism to separate positive and negative value ELVs.

    —  Avoidance of the need for manufacturers to make accruals for retrospective liabilities.

  With regard to timing, within the European Directive there is the possibility for Member States to implement manufacturer responsibility for free take-back earlier than 2007. We believe that it would be both unreasonable and inequitable to have an early adoption of this article.

  The Ford proposals are commensurate with the draft regulations already published in other major EU car manufacturing countries. Moreover, they would not handicap the competitive position of the UK or limit its attractiveness for future inward investment.

Managing Director

Renault UK Ltd

Managing Director

Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd

12 October 2001



  In 1999 the parent companies of Nissan and Renault formed a strategic Alliance, the purpose of which is to achieve profitable and balanced growth for the two partners through the creation of a powerful bi-national group. Renault has a 36.8 per cent equity holding currently in Nissan Motor Limited, the parent company of the Nissan Group.

  Both companies market their vehicles in the UK through their own and franchised dealerships. In the year 2000, Renault had a 7.25 per cent share (161,000 cars) of the new car market, and Nissan a 3.8 per cent share (85,000 cars). The UK sales and marketing arms of both companies share a single office site in Maple Cross, Hertfordshire employing some 400 staff.

  In addition, Nissan also manufactures and sells vehicles in the UK. Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), based in Sunderland, was established in 1984 and is the largest car producing plant in the country. Production in 2000 was 327,701 vehicles of which some 75 per cent are exported to some 45 countries worldwide. The factory employs some 4,500 staff and was named in the World Markets Research Centre 2001 survey as the most productive plant in Europe for the fifth year running, producing 105 vehicles per annum per employee.

  Early in 2001 the decision was made to locate production of the company's new Micra car at its Sunderland factory, following the decision of the Government to award the company a Selective Regional Assistance Grant of some £40 million. Production of the new car is scheduled to start at the end of 2002 and will lead to the recruitment of an extra 500 staff at the Sunderland factory.

  By the end of 2002 cumulative investment in the Nissan Sunderland factory since 1984 will amount to some £2 billion.

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Prepared 6 December 2001