Media July 2011

News in Brief

Autos Firm to Invest in SUV
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will invest £192mn to design and produce the next version of its Qashqai (Dualis in Japan) SUV in the UK, the Sankei Shimbun reported on 8 June. This could safeguard 6,000 jobs at the firm’s London design centre and Sunderland plant, the automaker said.

‘‘The UK has been a cornerstone of Nissan manufacturing since 1986, with the Sunderland plant setting important benchmarks for quality and efficiency in Europe and around the world”, said Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn.

“Coals to Newcastle” Motor Deal
Toyota Motor Corporation is to export its Derby-built Avensis to Japan later this year, The Sun reported on 24 June. Business Secretary Vince Cable paid tribute to the skills and efficiency of the UK workforce and plants. It is also a boost for Toyota’s Deeside plant in northern Wales, which builds the engines. The two British factories have just returned to full production, after having been hit by a shortage of supplies from Japan, due to the earthquake in March.

Hastings Plan to Study Piers
Architects planning to restore Hastings Pier, built in 1872, after it was devastated by fire last year are looking to Japan for inspiration, the Argus local newspaper reported on 7 June. Hastings Pier said it was also studying piers in the UK and the Netherlands to make it more economically viable. Many UK piers don’t make money so the team was looking further afield for ideas.

Hedge Fund Targets Tobacco Firm
The Children’s Investment Fund Management (UK) LLP (TCI) has started a push to shake up government-controlled Japan Tobacco, reported the Nikkei on 9 June. The hedge fund, famous for leading an unsuccessful shareholder campaign to oust leaders and up dividends at J-Power in 2008, said the board and senior executives were “destroying shareholder value”. London-based TCI, which has a 1% stake in the firm, also called for Chief Executive Hiroshi Kimura to resign.

Huge Solar Project Planned
In partnership with British Gas, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd is set to be the first carmaker in the UK to install a large-scale solar panel array, reported Sankei Biz on 8 June.

Toyota’s biggest array will have 17,000 solar panels covering 30,000m2 and will be capable of producing almost 4.6mn kWh per annum, enough energy to build about 7,000 cars.