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Nissan refuses to deny reports it is shelving plans to build new X-Trail in UK

Nissan refuses to deny reports it is shelving plans to build new X-Trail in UK

Nissan has refused to comment on reports that it is abandoning plans to build a new model of one of its flagship vehicles at its Sunderland plant. The Japanese car manufacturer said in 2016 it would be building the new version of the X-Trail SUV at the factory along with its next-generation Qashqai, prompting claims…


Nissanhas refused to comment on reports that it is abandoning plans to build a new model of one of its flagship vehicles at its Sunderland plant.

The Japanese car manufacturer said in 2016 it would be building the new version of the X-Trail SUV at the factory along with its next-generation Qashqai, prompting claims that Nissan and the government had struck a “sweetheart deal” to protect the company from any post-Brexit EU tariff wall.

A Nissan spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on rumour and speculation.” However, she would not be drawn on the accuracy of reports on Sky News that the Japanese firm will announce plans to move production elsewhere.

Bridget Phillipson, the Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said: “If confirmed, this would represent deeply troubling news for the north-east economy. So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan’s success.”

If confirmed, Nissan’s decision is likely to raise new concerns about the economic impact ofBrexit, particularly for deprived parts of the country.

Nissan employs about 6,700 staff at the Sunderland plant, Britain’s largest car factory, making it one of the region’s largest employers. Sunderland voted overwhelmingly to leave theEuropean Union.

In October, the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said Nissan was “not going anywhere”, after the car manufacturer said a hard Brexit could have serious implications for the site.

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