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Nissan cancels plans to build X-Trail in United Kingdom ahead of Brexit

Nissan cancels plans to build X-Trail in United Kingdom ahead of Brexit

Nissan's announced its plans to build the X-Trail and Qashqai models in Sunderland after the government sent a letter to company officials offering undisclosed reassurances about its ability to compete in the future.

Other future models planned for Nissan Sunderland Plant are unaffected, including next-generation Juke and Qashqai.

"While we have taken this decision for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future", said Europe Chairman Gianluca de Ficchy.

Nissan said it will consolidate production of the next generation X-Trail at its plant in Kyushu, Japan, where the model is now produced, allowing the company to reduce investment costs in the early stages of the project.

In the autumn of 2016, Nissan announced plans to build the new version of the SUV alongside its next-generation Qashqai.

It has been confirmed today that the X-Trail will instead be produced at its Kyushu plant in Japan.

"If confirmed, this would represent deeply troubling news for the north east economy", she tweeted.

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. Production at the site fell 11 percent in 2018.




The cancellation shouldn't affect the 7,000 people who already work at the plant, but it does mean the hundreds of new jobs the investment would have created will no longer be available.

Investment in the industry fell 46 percent a year ago and new auto production dropped 9.1 percent to 1.52 million vehicles, in part because of concerns over Brexit, the Society of Motor Manufacturing said.

In the letter, Gianluca de Ficchy said the reasons for the decision were a mixture of investment needed for emissions regulations and reduced sales forecasts, but added that Brexit had played a part.

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

Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said leaving the European Union on March 29 without a transition deal to preserve the smooth flow of parts and finished vehicles across European Union borders would cause "permanent devastation" to the British auto industry.

"This is the clearest signal yet of the damage being caused to the United Kingdom vehicle industry by the uncertainty around Brexit".

It followed a similar move by Jaguar Land Rover to reduce its 44,000 workforce by 4,500 under plans to make £2.5 billion of cost savings - with most of the cuts in the UK.

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