Nissan will safeguard its Sunderland plant with a £400m investment, despite Brexit concerns.
Even with the fears of its European business’ possible tariffs after the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Japanese multinational automobile firm still continues to give its Sunderland plant a boost as it is set to launch its new third-generation crossover Qashqai next year.
Despite challenging times, Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said that the Sunderland plant continues to provide high standards for quality and productivity.
The boost includes a £52 million XL press line to up their game as they prepare for the production of the new Qashqai. The press weighs over 2,000 tons and the installation took about 18 months to finish. It also has a new recycling system that can easily segregate and process scrap material. The massive press can stamp over 6.1 million vehicle panels yearly.
The car-making giant currently produces its Qashqai, Leaf, and Juke models in Britain.
In 2016, Nissan Sunderland was given an £80 million financial support and was given Brexit-related assurance by former Prime Minister Theresa May. Nevertheless, the agreement turned out to be dependent on the “soft” Brexit with EU trade negotiations.
Currently, the UK is doing the talks about a free-trade deal with the European Union which is due at the end of the year.
However, once the negotiations fail, a 10 percent tariff will be imposed on cars and auto parts, posing a huge problem for several automobile plants in the UK.
Gianluca de Ficcy, chairman of Nissan Europe, said in a press conference in Paris that the tariff could not only end the Sunderland factory but the entire European strategy. He also added that the plant will no longer be viable, hence, selling their cars is impossible.
Nissan Qashqai: The New-Generation Crossover
The making of the next-generation Qashqai follows the success of producing over 3 million vehicles of the models since the year 2006.
The new version of Qashqai will be based on a modified variety of the current model’s common module family platform. It will feature a new “ePower” hybrid system. It will also take the form of plug-in hybrid technology as well as regular petrol engines.
Official and complete information about the new Qashqai will be revealed by the end of 2020, and go on sale at the beginning of 2021.
Currently, Nissan holds 30 percent of the UK’s 1.52 million cars in its Sunderland factory, making it the biggest car plant in the country.