Nissan scraps plan to build new X-Trail model in Britain

Nissan's Sunderland plant employs 7,000 staff

Nissan abandoned a plan to make the X-Trail sport-utility vehicle at the UK's biggest auto factory, saying uncertainty over Brexit isn't helping on future investment.

Nissan Executive Vice President for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, Hideyuki Sakamoto, added: "A model like X-Trail is manufactured in multiple locations globally, and can therefore be re-evaluated based on changes to the business environment".

"As Nissan stated, continued Brexit uncertainty is not helping businesses plan for the future".

Ministers strongly denied any financial incentives were offered and Chancellor Philip Hammond said any costs arising from the assurances would be small enough to be covered within the Department for Business's spending limits.

Sources told Sky the move would mean renewed doubt over Nissan's future in the United Kingdom and the UK's future in vehicle manufacturing.

Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, tweeted: "If confirmed, this would represent deeply troubling news for the north east economy".

But when the X-Trail investment was initially announced, Nissan said hundreds of jobs would be created at the Sunderland plant. JLR, Honda and BMW have all announced plans to idle their factories in the days after Britain is set to leave the European Union in hopes of avoiding potential chaos at the borders.

'So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan's success'. May said on Sunday she would seek a "pragmatic solution".




Nissan has confirmed that the new X-Trail originally planned for its Sunderland plant will instead be made in Japan.

And Nissan is part-owned by France's Renault, which could move production to France in future to avoid any post-Brexit EU tariffs.

A report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said investment had effectively "stalled" amidst fears over the UK's future trading with the EU.

It comes after Ford confirmed on Friday that it would be cutting around 370 jobs at its Bridgend plant as it restructures its production across Europe and the United Kingdom.

Most of the cuts will be in the United Kingdom, with a voluntary programme being launched, and are in addition to 1,500 workers who left the company previous year.

"Our workforce in Sunderland has our full confidence, and will continue to benefit from the investment planned for Juke and Qashqai", de Ficchy said in the statement.

"These rumours are disturbing and will cause the workforce to have a very anxious weekend even though production of the X-Trail would have necessitated additional jobs on site".

The decision is not expected to have an immediate effect on jobs but it is also not known if Nissan is planning to send other work to Sunderland.

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