Friday 28 October 2016

Nissan to make new car models in UK


Nissan said it will build the next Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland factory, safeguarding more than 7,000 jobs, in the first major investment decision in the car industry since the Brexit vote.

Colin Lawther, a senior official for the carmaker, said there were ambitions to turn the factory into a "super plant" producing 600,000 cars a year and protecting the jobs of the local workforce and the thousands more who support the production across the UK.

The prime minister hailed the decision as a vote of confidence in Britain. "It is a recognition that the government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry so it continues to grow – now and in the future," said Theresa May.

The announcement came as new figures showed the economy fared far better than expected in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. In the first official verdict on how the economy has performed since Britain voted to leave the EU, the Office for National Statistics said GDP grew by 0.5% in the third quarter. This was down from 0.7% in the previous three months but well ahead of City forecasts of 0.3%.

Nissan's chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, has been lobbying May's government for guarantees after the 23 June referendum. He said on Thursday that government support and assurances had led to the decision to manufacture the Qashqai and X-Trail SUV models in Sunderland. The X-Trail is an unexpected addition.

Ghosn said: "Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day."

He had previously said future investment in Britain's biggest car factory depended on a guarantee of compensation if the UK struck a deal with European allies that led to tariffs on car exports.

Lawther, Nissan's European senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing, and supply chain management, said that the decision had been made after daily conversations with the government since the referendum.

"It comes down to trust at the end of the day," Lawther said. "We are confident the government is taking sufficient measures to make sure the whole of the automative industry will be competitive at the end of the process".

He said there had been "no financial package outside the normal, in the public domain request, for grant support".

"We've ended up in a rosy pink scenario today," said Lawther, who said production lines had been stopped at 11am to inform staff.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.