Nissan could cut production shifts at Sunderland, says report

Nissan is evaluating plans to cut back production line shifts at its Sunderland plant, which could threaten 400 jobs, according to reports.

The Japanese car maker is considering cutting the number of shifts on the production line that makes the Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs from three to two, Sky News says.

Nissan recently reversed plans to build the next-generation X-Trail at Sunderland, citing the decline in demand for diesel as the key factor – while acknowledging uncertainty over Brexit raised questions over long-term investment in the plant. It is still planning to make the next-generation Juke and Qashqai SUVs there.

A Nissan spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”

Sky News was first to break the news of Nissan’s decision not to build the next X-Trail in Sunderland.

The reports create more uncertainty for the UK car industry, following soon after Honda announced it would shut its Swindon plant. It comes as bosses of both BMW and Toyota have again said they would be forced to consider moving production out of the country in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer told Sky the firm could move Mini production abroad in a “worst case” no-deal scenario. He said: “For Mini, this is a real danger.”

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