Nissan dodges Sunderland build
Nissan has confirmed it will build its new X-Trail in Japan not Sunderland, blaming uncertainty over Brexit and changing emissions regulations in Europe for the decision.
Nissan had originally committed to building the new model in Sunderland, following support and 'assurances' from the UK government. The government has admitted the decision is a 'blow to the sector' but insisted that no jobs would be lost as a result.
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.'
Nissan said that 'the environment for the car industry in Europe has changed dramatically' since 2016, including 'changing emissions regulations.'
In the UK, diesel cars that fail to meet the latest emissions standards now face a levy and a number of European countries, including the UK, have announced bans on both new diesel and petrol vehicles in the future.
As a result, sales of new diesel cars in the UK tumbled by 30% in 2018, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Nissan Europe chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said, 'Nissan is investing heavily in new technologies and powertrains for the next generation of vehicles in our Sunderland plant.
'To support this, we are taking advantage of our global assets, and with X-Trail already manufactured in Japan, we can reduce our upfront investment costs.'