Brexit blamed for Nissan's decision to move SUV production to Japan

Brexit blamed for Nissan's decision to move SUV production to Japan

Brexit blamed for Nissan's decision to move SUV production to Japan

Nissan first said four months after Britain voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union that it would manufacture a new model of the SUV in Britain, which was seen as a major vote of confidence in the country's manufacturing future.

Nissan has canceled plans to build its new X-Trail SUV in its factory in Sunderland, England. "None of it is conductive to encouraging business investment in this country".

But Nissan's announcement is potentially more damaging for the government because of the prominence it gave to securing the carmaker's investment in October 2016, four months after British voters made a decision to leave the EU.

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

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

The factory builds the Qashqai and Juke SUVs, along with the Nissan Leaf and Infiniti's Q30 and QX30 models, according to the Automotive News Europe Guide to European Assembly Plants.

Nissan's decision is another blow to the British auto industry, which reported a 46 percent drop in investment previous year as carmakers delayed decisions on upgrading machinery and factories amid mounting concern about the impact of a hard Brexit.

Current production in Sunderland also includes the Nissan LEAF, which is Europe's best-selling electric vehicle.

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.

The company said the "voluntary separation programme" at the Welsh factory is needed to cut costs and create a "sustainably profitable business" in Europe.

Japanese firm Honda also announced six non-production days in April under contingency plans to mitigate the risk of disruption to production at its Swindon factory after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

"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.

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

Investment in Britain's auto industry halved a year ago, data showed last Thursday, and vehicle production by Nissan in Britain fell by more than 10 per cent. We are working hard to establish the truth behind current speculation and will be meeting with the company on Monday morning to establish both the facts and how such news has been released without a discussion with the union.

Nissan, which has made vehicles at its Sunderland since 1986 and employs about 6,700, in 2016 announced plans to build the cars for the European market at its plant there.

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.

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