Reports 400 jobs under threat at Nissan plant 'hugely worrying' says Sunderland MP

A Wearside MP says that reports claiming Nissan could cut 400 jobs are "hugely worrying".

Sky News reported yesterday that the Japanese car firm's proposals would see the number of shifts on a production line at the company's Sunderland plant making Qashqai and Leaf vehicles reduced from three to two.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

If the car manufacturing giant goes ahead with the plans it could put 400 jobs in Sunderland under threat.

A Nissan spokesman said in response: “Nissan does not comment on rumours or speculations”".

Following the report, MP for Washington and Sunderland West Sharon Hodgson said: ‘’If true, these reports are hugely worrying.

"It must be stressed that currently they are based on rumours and speculation and can’t be confirmed.

Nissan's Sunderland plant.

Nissan's Sunderland plant.

"I am doing all I can to find out more information.

"I know that many of my constituents, and the thousands of people who work at the plant in Washington or its supply chain will be concerned.

"I raised concerns around the challenges facing Nissan and the automotive industry on a number of occasions in recent weeks, with both Greg Clark MP with the Prime Minister.

"Unfortunately I received no assurances from them.

"I will be following this situation closely over the coming hours and days.’’

A spokesman for the Unite union said: “We are not aware of any new or proposed production changes, but will be raising the matter with the company and seeking assurances over future production and employment levels as a matter of urgency.”

The report comes after Nissan announced it would not make its new X-Trail model in Sunderland last month.

The firm said that the decision had been taken for "business reasons" affected by rules on diesel engines and reduced sales but said uncertainty around Brexit was "not helping".

The news was a blow to the near 7,000-strong workforce at the car firm's Wearside plant, which produces around 2,000 cars a day and has been active since 1986.

Nissan had previously announced in 2016 that the next-generation X-Trail for the European market would be built on Sunderland, where it already makes the Qashqai, Juke, Q30, Note and the zero-emission electric Leaf.

Instead, the X-Trail will now be produced at its Kyushu plant in Japan.