Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Nissan confirms X-Trail production move from Sunderland to Japan

Nissan confirms X-Trail production move from Sunderland to Japan

Business Secretary Greg Clark, making a statement to the Commons today, said Nissan's announcement that it would not build its X-Trail vehicle in Sunderland meant that 741 additional jobs would no longer be created, adding: "Nissan confirmed that production of the new Qashqai, Juke and Leaf will continue at Sunderland and there are no implications of the decision for existing jobs at the plant".

Nissan said Sunderland will, however, continue to manufacture several Nissan models.

The alarm has been sounded before and since the referendum by Labour MPs in Sunderland, whose constituents work at a plant that has grown to employ nearly 8,000 people and 30,000 more in the supply chain.

"The continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future, ' Nissan's Europe chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said in a statement, after explaining that keeping production in Japan would reduce "upfront investment costs.' The decision was quickly seized upon by anti-Brexit MPs and campaigners, and places further pressure on May as she seeks to salvage her withdrawal agreement with the European Union and pass it through parliament".

The government said that Nissan had not received any of the funds so far and would have to reapply for them.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said Nissan's decision was "devastating news for our city and the region".

According to Sky News, Nissan's decision is not expected to have a major impact on jobs.

The U-turn comes as figures show auto production slumped by nearly a tenth past year, leaving the industry on "red alert" amid continued Brexit uncertainty.

It follows ongoing calls from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the Government to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

"The company has confirmed that no jobs will be lost".

The Nissan (7201.T) announcement comes less than a month after Jaguar Land Rover and Ford (F) announced thousands of job cuts at United Kingdom factories.

New-generation X-Trail crossover is seen during the presentation at Nissan's facility in St. Petersburg.

Steve Turner, Unite's assistant general secretary for manufacturing, said: "It is beyond disappointing that our members are hearing about their futures and the holding back of planned investments in Sunderland through media reports and not directly from the company".

"The government fully recognises the significance of the European Union market to your presence in Sunderland", wrote business minister Greg Clark to then Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

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.

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