Q&A with Paul Willcox Senior VP, Sales & Marketing, Nissan

29 April 2013 / 15:02

Why has Nissan chosen to support Team GB?

At Nissan we are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology in order to deliver products that excite and that mantra extends to the partnerships we make. Team GB did an amazing job last year at their home Games, becoming a source of enormous national pride and inspiration. Nissan shares that same challenging spirit and commitment to performance. It’s a privilege for us to be allying our brand with Team GB and we look forward to finding out how we can help them create even more national excitement on the roads to Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.

What will the partnership entail exactly from Nissan’s point of view?

We aim to be genuine backers of Team GB offering tangible support over and above the financial benefits we can offer. We are very keen to investigate how our work with technology can be applied to help our athletes enhance their training and performance – for instance, our work in lightweight structures, composite materials and aerodynamics as well as training innovations could all, potentially, be applied to help our Olympic heroes.

Has Nissan’s success in the UK manufacturing industry influenced its decision to partner with Team GB?

Team GB made history at their home Games in 2012 – they are the ‘Best of British’, a reputation that Nissan firmly supports. We are already a huge supporter of Great Britain and its car industry – we employ 7,000 staff in the UK, one in three cars built in Britain last year was a Nissan and our plant in Sunderland produced 510,000 vehicles. No other car maker has built that many cars in Britain in a single year ever before. In Brazil, Nissan is also showing its commitment; in 2014 Nissan will open a new world-class manufacturing plant in Resende, Rio de Janeiro which will create 4,000 new jobs.

What does Nissan know about supporting athletes or sportsmen and women?

Nissan has a very strong presence in the motorsport arena; an illustration of its pioneering spirit is our GT Academy which is a completely revolutionary way for people to get into motorsport. We turned the first ever GTA winner – an ordinary gamer with no experience - into a fully-fledged Le Mans 24 Hours racing driver within just three years and he took second place in class in the world’s most gruelling endurance race.

Our involvement in the DeltaWing project was also an example of our passion for pushing the boundaries; creating a car which makes racing more sustainable with bold, innovative technology and a pioneering spirit. The result was a ground-breaking race car which competed at last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race.