In a fresh blow to the North East economy it has been announced that Nissan won’t make the new X-Trail vehicle at their Sunderland car plant.
There are a number of reasons for the decision but uncertainty over Brexit was one of the factors that contributed to the change of plans.
The car maker has originally planned to build the new range in the North East, and could have led to an expansion of the workforce.
Nissan’s Europe division boss wrote to Sunderland factory staff confirming the news and telling them the model will continue to be made in Japan.
Gianluca de Ficchy said the decision would be “interpreted by a lot of people as a decision related to Brexit” and that “uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future”.
He continued: “With the UK’s departure from the EU on 29 March getting closer every week, we have a taskforce in place, reporting to me, that it is considering all of the possible scenarios and the potential impact on business.
“We appreciate this will be disappointing for our UK team and partners. Our workforce in Sunderland has our full confidence, and will continue to benefit from the investment planned for Juke and Qashqai.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Nissan’s announcement is a blow to the sector and the region, as this was to be a further significant expansion of the site and the workforce.
“The company has confirmed that no jobs will be lost. They have reiterated today their commitment to the UK by continuing to manufacture in Sunderland the current Qashqai, Leaf and Juke models and the new Qashqai model from 2020.”