Nissan swaps United Kingdom for Japan to make new X-Trail model

05 February, 2019, 03:17 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
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The Sunderland factory has been up and running since 1986 and is predominantly focused on the Qashqai, Leaf and Juke, which will continue.

Nissan employs nearly 7,000 people at its plant in Sunderland, northeast England, and lawmakers are upset over news that it will cancel plans to build an SUV there.

A senior Nissan boss blasted Brexit "uncertainty" as he confirmed that the company had scrapped plans to build the X-Trail 4x4 at its Sunderland plant, but said that the decision had been taken for "business reasons".

It said 4 months after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 that it would manufacture the new X-Trail in Britain - a major vote of confidence in the country and May, shortly after she took office. The UK was presented as a convenient and agreeable base for the companies' European operations.

Nissan plays a key role in United Kingdom manufacturing.

After the weekend's dire news from Nissan, she called again for a people's vote with the option to stay in the EU.

There will be no job losses as a result of this announcement, but the new jobs expected will not materialise.


During the 2016 referendum, Nissan said it opposed Brexit and that remaining in the European Union would make 'the most sense for jobs, trade and costs.' Sunderland ultimately voted to leave by 61% - making it one of the most pro-Brexit cities in the UK.

The company blamed wider industry pressures but added that Brexit "uncertainty" was not helping it to plan for the future.

A report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said investment had effectively "stalled" amid fears over the UK's future trading prospects with the EU. Overall production at Sunderland a year ago stood at over 442,000, down nearly 11% on 2017.

Meanwhile, pro-EU and pro-Brexit politicians traded allegations about whether Nissan's decision not to build a new SUV in northern England was the latest sign of Brexit-induced economic damage. Declines have been steepest for diesels like the X-Trail sport utility vehicle that's the subject of the Japanese giant's about-turn. The drop in investment only foreshadows what could happen, he said.

The company said it instead plans to consolidate production of the next generation X-Trail at its plant in Kyushu, Japan, where the model is now produced.

The UK's business minister, Greg Clark Clark, said 740 new jobs were due to be created by the X-Trail investment but none of the existing workforce would be hit by the decision to pull the model.

Unite's acting national officer for the automotive sector Steve Bush said he now wanted Nissan to work with their employees regarding the future.

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