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Nissan's Sunderland Plant

After it looked like Nissan would move its manufacturing plants out of England it has now been confirmed that two new models, the Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV will be built in its Sunderland plant following government encouragement and assurance.

Preceding the vote to leave the EU the Japanese company Nissan was a little nervous to stay in Britain with its largest plant in Sunderland providing thousands of jobs. But the company found that Brexit did not affect them as expected as they actually experienced economic growth of 0.5%. This is a little lower than the 0.7% they occurred in the first quarter but much higher than predicted following the move out of the EU.

With the Sunderland Plant manufacturing two new models it will secure over 7,000 jobs for the country, providing the first major development since the Brexit vote.

Charlos Ghosn, Nissans chief executive stated “The support and assurances of the UK government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland” following Prime Minister Theresa May’s comments to the “commitment to the automotive industry in Britain”. Nissans confidence in Britain should help build confidence that Britain is open for business.

It is still unknown what the deal for ‘support and assurance’ entails, but it was clearly good enough to secure not one but two new models to be manufactured. This will most likely catch the attention of other car manufacturers already in Britain as well as others who may want to move into the country with the promise of protection from the Brexit impact.

The cheaper pound is making exports much more attractive although the possibility of trade tariffs may counteract that.

On Thursday last week, SMNT released figures showing that the UK’s motor industry is performing solidly with almost 1.3 million vehicles manufactured in just 9 months which is a 10.5% increase to last year.

posted by: Abigail Lavallin 31 October 2016