Nissan is staying in Sunderland
Japanese carmaker to build new Qashqai and X-Trail models in UK
Nissan Motor Company Ltd. has committed to producing the next Qashqai crossover vehicle in Sunderland. Executives had warned that this may not happen following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. However, not only has the company received satisfactory assurances to continue with production of the Qashqai for the next few years (the next Qashqai model is expected to be made in 2018 or 2019). Nissan also confirmed that it will add production of the next X-Trail model at its Sunderland as well in something of a surprise move.
According to the company, Nissan’s decision follows “the UK government’s commitment to ensure that the Sunderland plant remains competitive”. The result is that over 7,000 workers keep their jobs. In addition to the 7,000 direct employees at Sunderland, the plant supports a further 28,000 British automotive supply chain jobs.
Nissan’s Sunderland plant opened in 1986 and has produced almost 9 million cars since. One in three British cars are produced in Sunderland, which is the UK’s largest car plant ever. This equates to some 475,000 cars last year, which of course means 1.9 million to 2.375 million OE tyres. 80 per cent of production from Sunderland is exported to over 130 international markets. More than 2 million Qashqais have been built in Sunderland in less than 10 years. To date, Nissan has invested more than £3.7 billion in there.
“I am pleased to announce that Nissan will continue to invest in Sunderland. Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day,” said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Nissan. “The support and assurances of the UK government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland. I welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain and to the development of an overall industrial strategy.”