Nissan cuts investments in UK because of Brexit
Nissan has announced that it will not produce its new X-Trail SUV in Sunderland (UK) as was previously planned. The car will now be made in the Kyushu plant in Japan.
“We made this decision for financial and economic reasons”, says Gianlucca de Ficchy, president of Nissan Europe, “but the uncertainty of the future relations between the UK and the EU is not very helpful for companies like ours to plan the future.”
Juke and Qashqai stay
The other future models, like Juke and Qashqai, are not affected by the decision. They will be made in Sunderland as planned. Apart from these, there is also an assembly of the electric Nissan Leaf in Sunderland and of some models of Nissan’s premium brand, Infiniti.
Sunderland houses the largest car plant in the UK since Nissan chose to produce here in 1986. It produces 500.000 cars per year and employs 7.000 people. 55% of the cars are exported to the European Union, without custom rights or taxes.
Nevertheless, 61% of the people living in Sunderland (275.000 inhabitants) and around have voted for Brexit in 2016. Apparently, they’ve shot themselves in the foot…
The Nissan announcement is the latest in a series of bad news for the UK as a result of the uncertainty concerning the Brexit. Will it be with or without a deal?
In case of ‘no deal’, the trade relationships between UK and EU will be governed by the WTO rules (World Trade Organization). They are far worse for free trade than the internal EU market.
Lately, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) of the UK has warned about the dangers of a no-deal Brexit and this Nissan decision is a new blow for the British car industry.
Apart from the car sector, also other manufacturers are thinking of leaving the UK or investing less. Japanese electronics giant, Sony, has recently decided to move its European headquarters to the Netherlands.
British technology group, Dyson, has also decided to move its headquarters to Singapore. It has added that this has nothing to do with Brexit but many analysts have their doubts.