The next Nissan Qashqai’s future in Sunderland plant is in doubt and the plant faces possible closure.
That’s the stark warning over a possible no-deal Brexit for the UK at the end of this month, say media reports but unconfirmed by Nissan.
It was opened in 1986 and has built Micra and Qashqai models there as well as Infiniti versions of the brand’s up-market models. It still assembles the Juke and electric LEAF models in Sunderland but in much smaller numbers than Qashqai, as 55% of that production is exported so faces potential tariffs from the EU.
After Britain voted to leave the EU, former Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal with Nissan to support them and the plant but that was dependent on a soft-Brexit with protection for the motor industry in Britain.
Nissan has already decided not to build future SUV X-Trails there but concentrate in Japan and the Qashqai has been the top crossover for many years in the UK, but now is due for a re-fresh in 2020 and this is the model which may not be assembled there after Brexit, according to the Financial Times.
Honda has already said its shutting its Swindon plant by 2021, Ford will exit Bridgend Engine Plant in 12-months, BMW has warned about MINI production lines in Oxford and the future of Vauxhall’s Astra production in Ellesmere Port has to be decided once exit terms are agreed.
There are a large number of component suppliers in Wales feeding parts to Honda and Nissan, and some to Toyota, which has maintained its hopes to keep their Derby plant operational after Brexit.