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A regularly cited statistic in the current EU referendum is that 60% of non-European companies have their European HQ in the UK. I have just revised our Top 30 Japanese companies in Europe and found that 16 out of the 30 biggest Japanese employers in the region (some companies cover Africa, Turkey, Middle East, Russia from their European HQ) have their regional headquarters in the UK – which is 53%, so slightly under the overall average. Together they directly employ nearly 420,000 people in the region.
I added Yazaki (a privately held, relatively unknown but huge automotive components supplier) – straight in at number 2. Their European HQ is in Germany, covering Europe and factories in Africa. The factories do of course bulk out the total of 45,200 employees in the Europe and Africa region.
If Brexit does happen, the UK could still cite historical and Commonwealth ties as a case for locating a Europe & Africa or EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) HQ in London, but clearly for the automotive industry this is not a significant factor. Only Honda has their European headquarters in the UK, and automotive parts suppliers tend to follow their customers.
Most of the brand name electronics companies have based their European headquarters in the UK. The financial companies do not have such large numbers of employees, so whilst nearly all of them have their headquarters in London, they are not in the Top 30.
Adding Yazaki has pushed out electric motor manufacturer Nidec – but I suspect Nidec will soon be back in, given how acquisition hungry it seems to be.
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