Hundreds of jobs are going at Nissan, Sunderland, the country’s largest car plant employing 7,000 people.
The cuts will also affect scores of UK suppliers, including some in Wales, who make components for the Japanese owned plant near Newcastle.
Nissan has been caught by the dramatic fall in diesel demand – down over a third so far this year – and its one-time class leading Qashqai and Juke SUVs have been challenged by newer models in the sector.
Now Nissan must play catch up, and quickly, but that will not prevent them having to release hundreds, possibly over a thousand workers.
Talks with the union have been going on and Nissan will offer good departure packages and offer retraining.
It hopes to refocus its assembly operation and make newer versions when it might want to start hiring again. The company has already committed to making new models in Sunderland after Brexit is achieved.
The job cuts follow those at Jaguar Land Rover, which last week said it would shed 1,000 contract staff, mostly in the Midlands.
In a statement, Nissan said, “As previously communicated, we are transitioning to a new range of powertrains over the next year.
“As we make the operational changes required to support this, we will be managing a planned short-term reduction in powertrain supply and plant volumes at NMUK in line with our 2018 Business Plan. We are now discussing these operational changes with our employees.”
While UK demand has been hit by the kick-back against diesel, the majority of Nissan Sunderland output is exported and it has not done well with older models now competing against newer SUV and Crossover models, a sector it really created with the arrival of the Juke which spawned many imitators which have broadened demand and expanded choice.