Two-thirds of readers say they fear for the future of Nissan in Sunderland after X-Trail U-turn

More than 3,000 readers took part in an exclusive Echo poll after Nissan confirmed it won't be building the next-generation X-Trail in Sunderland.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 12:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:41 pm
The Nissan plant in Sunderland employs 7,000 people, with thousands more working in the supply chain.

The Japanese car giant revealed at the weekend that it has cancelled plans to build the new model at its Wearside plant - making a U-turn on its 2016 announcement.

Bosses said business reasons, including the slump in diesel sales, are main factors in the decision - but also admitted that uncertainty over Brexit is not helping them make long-term plans.

The Nissan plant in Sunderland employs 7,000 people, with thousands more working in the supply chain.

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In our poll, 67 per cent of those who took part say they fear for the future of the Nissan plant in Sunderland following the weekend's announcement.

Here's a selection of comments from our Facebook page on the story, which has made national headlines.

Ian Akers: "How can anyone still believe it's not about Brexit? They're (X-Trails) still going to be built but in a country where access to the European union will be seamless. I accept the vote was to leave but don't try to avoid the consequences of the decision. Sunderland is a city of turkeys who have voted for Christmas."

Charlie Barnes: "It’s responding to the fact that the WTO tariff on car parts is 10%, and that it’s cheaper to assemble in Japan and ship to the EU than build in the UK if we leave the Single Market."

Nissan confirmed at the weekend that it won't be building the new X-Trail in Sunderland.

Related: Nissan's Sunderland plant to miss out on 741 extra jobs in X-Trail U-turn - as Government offered firm up to £80MILLION to build new cars on WearsideHeath Jarvis: "Hmmm, no new models, so what happens to your plant when they stop producing the models you produce now. It looks like turkeys really do vote for Christmas."

Colin Balfour: No sympathy! Of course it's related to Brexit. Nissan had crisis talks with the government in 2016 for that reason, and that reason only. The government hasn't delivered on its promises. 61% in Sunderland voted for Brexit. Dozens of independent economists and politicians who know what they are talking about said it was a bad idea, and you didn't listen. You made your bed, now lie in it!"

David Owen: "Undoubtedly uncertainty around Brexit doesn't help. But it's just a small factor when compared to the general automotive downturn which is Europe-wide. How can anyone say diesel sales being down 30% has nothing to do with this decision?"

Alex Lowther: "Nissan always were cautious about Brexit. Now reality hits!"

It has been revealed that building the X-Trail could have meant more than 700 new jobs for the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Michael Harnett: "Nothing is safe with any company. Nissan has no alliance with Sunderland. If they can build them cheaper elsewhere they will."

Mark Dalton: "This is a model that was never built at this plant in the first place. Yes, it would of been fantastic to get the new build, but it was a business decision by Nissan. The Sunderland MPs should stop using this as part of their own agendas to reverse the decision the people of Sunderland voted on, and that is to leave the EU. Either do what we sent you down their to do or let someone else do it for you."

Clive Johnson: "This decision on the X-Trail would have happened anyway, despite Brexit. Labour is trying to make political gain over a business decision and trying to blame the Conservatives. Did they want the Tories to promise to buy all the unsold diesel X-Trails that Sunderland would have produced?"

Jim Heel: "Demand for the X-Trail has dropped considerably and in business you don't make products that don't sell. That's why it won't be made in Sunderland."

Dave Armstrong: "The EU said over a year ago that they were going to get rid of all diesel vehicles, so for Nissan to say what they did is just scaremongering and are trying to blackmail MPs into voting against Brexit."