The Japanese car company, Nissan, has pulled out of a deal with the UK. The deal would have meant that their latest car model, the X-Trail, would have been made in Sunderland, but it’ll now be made in Japan.
Nissan announced the plans to build the new model in Sunderland just after the Brexit referendum, and received assurances from Downing Street that nothing would change in regards to the deal, even with Britain’s uncertainty.
However, with only 54 days left until the UK is due to leave Europe, Nissan Europe chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, has highlighted Brexit and the UK’s uncertainty as one of its reasons for pulling out of the deal. “We have taken this decision for the business reasons I’ve explained, but clearly the 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 March 29 getting closer every week, we have a taskforce in place, reporting to me, that is considering all of the possible scenarios and the potential impact on the business.”
Brexit is not the sole reason for Nissan’s business u-turn, as de Ficchy also highlighted a slump in car sales, and a change in diesel emissions.
The Sunderland plant has been running since 1986, and it makes roughly 2000 cars a day. The plant also employs 7,000 people to build models such as the Qashqai, Q30, Juke, Note and the zero-emissions electric car, the Leaf. Even though people won’t lose their jobs, this deal would have created “hundreds of much needed extra new jobs”, according to Sunderland’s MP Julie Elliott, but now there will be no expansion.