Brexit: Nissan lands latest blow to the United Kingdom automotive industry

That reverses a decision in late 2016 to build the SUV at Nissan's Sunderland plant in northern England, which employs 7,000 workers.

Japanese vehicle maker Nissan has announced it is pulling production of its X-Trail model from Sunderland while European plane manufacturing giant Airbus has said it could move production of wings parts out of the United Kingdom amid no-deal fear.

There was dismay in London, the city government of Sunderland and British labor unions about Nissan's decision to forego production of the X-Trail at Sunderland.

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Sunderland Central Labour MP Julie Elliott said Nissan is yet to officially announce the move, but that the "inevitable role" Brexit has played can not be denied. Sales of new cars with gasoline or diesel engines will be banned in the United Kingdom and France by around 2040.

Mr de Ficchy said: "The continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future".

The main factor in the decision is apparently the changing environment for auto manufacturers in Europe in the past few years, particularly relating to emissions regulations.

The carmaker committed in October 2016 - four months after the Brexit referendum - to switching production of the X-Trail at the plant, following assurance from the Government of the continued competitiveness of the United Kingdom operation, and said it would increase its investment in the plant.

Nissan Motor Co.'s flagship auto plant in a corner of the United Kingdom that voted to leave the European Union suffered a blow after executives said they're reining in production at the site.

X-Trails will now be exported to Europe under the recently struck EU-Japan trade deal which allows cars to be sold here under low tariffs.

The multimillion-pound package offered to the carmaker in 2016 was tied to its pledge to build the X-Trail SUV and a new model of its popular... To meet the changing emissions regulations we've had to invest much more in new powertrains for our future models like X-Trail.

Production of diesel cars was down by 22% to 561,000 a year ago.

The government said Nissan's decision was "a blow to the sector" but that no jobs would go as a result.

Lord Digby Jones, a cross-party peer has said he has "had it up to here" with Brexit being blamed for businesses moving production out of the UK.

"The company has confirmed that no jobs will be lost".

Jaguar Land Rover has announced global cuts of some 4,500 jobs, with the lion's share coming in the UK.

Japanese firm Honda also announced six non-production days in April under contingency plans to mitigate the risk of disruption to production at its Swindon factory after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

  • Rogelio Becker