Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Nissan scraps plan to build new model in Britain

Nissan scraps plan to build new model in Britain

A source told Reuters that Nissan received a letter from the government at the time promising extra support in the event that Britain's departure from the European Union hit the competitiveness of its north of England Sunderland plant.

The Japanese car-maker had voiced concerns about Brexit, before committing to building the new Qashqai and X-Trail models at the north-east plant in October 2016.

That reverses a decision in late 2016 to build the SUV at Nissan's Sunderland plant in northern England, which employs 7,000 workers.

Nissan announced Sunday it has cancelled plans to make its X-Trail SUV in the United Kingdom - a sharp blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who fought to have the model built in northern England as she sought to shore up confidence in the British economy after it leaves the European Union.

"/ will announce on Monday that it is cancelling plans announced in 2016 to manufacture a new model of its X-Trail compact SUV in Britain, broadcaster Sky News said on S".

He said: "Twenty years ago we had these bad, blood-curdling threats about Nissan in Sunderland if we didn't join the Euro. None of it is conducive to encouraging business investment in this country", she added.

However, the latest reports have been described as "deeply troubling" by Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson.

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Last year Nissan cut hundreds of jobs at the plant in response to declining demand for diesel models.

Her tweet added that Brexit was just a part of the problem.

This caused critics to claim the Government had struck a "sweetheart deal" wth the manufacturer, shielding it from possible post-Brexit EU tariffs.

Nissan has made cars at Sunderland since 1986 and employs nearly 7,000 people.

Nissan is now the second largest car-maker in the United Kingdom and produces its electric auto, the Leaf, and a number of other models like the Juke and CX30 in the North East, with a total of 440,000 vehicles produced there in 2018.

But on Sunday, Nissan, which operates Britain's single-biggest vehicle factory where it builds roughly 30 percent of the country's 1.52 million cars, said it was reversing that decision. Production at the site fell 11 percent in 2018.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the fall in investment was "deeply depressing" and should send a strong signal to politicians to secure a Brexit trade deal.

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