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Nissan hi-tech to go home, as Brexit fallout begins

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Nissan Motor Company has announced that it has canned plans to produce a new high-tech vehicle and components, and will instead relocate production to its plant in Kyushu, Japan.

The next-generation X-Trail, aimed at the European market, was planned as long ago as 2016 to be built in Sunderland, UK, but Britain’s planned withdrawal from the European Union has persuaded the manufacturer to change course.  

Nissan said in a statement: “Since that time, Nissan has increased its investments in new powertrains and technology for its future European vehicles. Therefore the company has decided to optimise its investments in Europe by consolidating X-Trail production in Kyushu, the production hub for this global model.”

However, other future models planned for Nissan Sunderland Plant, such as the next-generation Juke and Qashqai, are unaffected. 

Nissan Executive Vice President for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, Hideyuki Sakamoto, said: “A model like X-Trail is manufactured in multiple locations globally, and can therefore be re-evaluated based on changes to the business environment. As always, Nissanhas to make optimal use of its global investments for the benefits of its customers.”  

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. 

“While we have taken this decision for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future.” 

Current production in Sunderland also includes the Nissan LEAF, Europe’s best-selling electric car, which reached a record 46,989 production last year, up 177% from the previous year. The new Nissan LEAF e+ upgrade, including an extended-range 62kwh battery, launches in the coming months. 

Click here to read about more companies jumping ship because of Brexit.

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