Japanese car giant Nissan has warned it cannot guarantee the future of its Sunderland plant if Britain doesn’t secure a trade deal with the European Union.
The news comes just a week after it was announced the Sunderland factory’s future was secure following a cost-cutting restructure for Nissan’s European business. The firm’s Barcelona factory wasn’t so lucky, though and will now be closed.
Nissan’s global chief operating officer has now warned, however, that if the UK doesn’t secure a trade deal with the EU, Nissan may not be able to stand by its commitment to support manufacturing in Britain.
‘You know we are the number one carmaker in the UK and we want to continue. We are committed,’ Ashwani Gupta told the BBC.
‘Having said that, if we are not getting the current tariffs, it’s not our intention but the business will not be sustainable.
‘That’s what everybody has to understand.’
The Sunderland plant currently makes the Qashqai, Juke and the all-electric Leaf, but the number of models it builds could widen following the cost-cutting restructure.
Under the Nissan Renault Mitsubishi Alliance, the UK factory could build Renault models in the future.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clear he will not seek any extension to the current Brexit transition period which ends on December 31. This is despite warnings the coronavirus outbreak means it will be impossible to conclude a new free trade agreement with the EU by that date.
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