Nissan LEAF at Sunderland, UK Factory
Despite reports to the contrary, it seems Nissan will attempt to keep both its U.S. and UK battery factories operational, even if LG Chem displaces Nissan's in-house battery operations.
When the news initially broke, we had suggested that bringing LG Chem on board didn't necessarily imply that Nissan would shutter those two battery factories completely, but that battery production would become more of a partnership:
"Speculatively, we think that LG Chem could supply Nissan with core battery components, which will then be assembled into finished battery packs at Nissan’s 3 battery factories (Japan, UK and U.S.)"
But now MarketWatch adds the following:
"Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA are looking for ways to reduce battery costs and share more components between electric vehicles, but they don't plan to shutter battery factories in the U.S. and U.K."
"The companies, which share partial ownership and technology, frequently review their battery procurement efforts as part of the effort to reduce costs on the electric Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe, a company official said. The review, however, doesn't contemplate reducing employment or production at battery factories in the U.S. or the United Kingdom, the company said, responding to a report by Reuters Monday."
"The company official said that shuttering the plant isn't a consideration and wouldn't even be feasible under the terms of the loan agreement."
So, it would seem that the earlier speculation is spot on. Even if Nissan turns to LG Chem, the battery factories in the U.S. and UK will still be tasked with the duties of assembling battery packs and it's even possible that LG Chem could move some of its cell-manufacturing operations into those two Nissan facilities.
- No lost jobs
- No shuttering of Nissan battery factories
- Lower battery costs
- Better performance from LG Chem cells
Source: Market Watch