Union boss says reports Nissan will not produce X-Trail car at Sunderland plant are 'disturbing'
A union chief has said tonight that reports that Nissan could abandon plans to produce the X-Trail car at its Sunderland factory are 'disturbing'.
Steve Turner of Unite has voiced concerns over the rumours which emerged earlier today.
Sky News reported that it has learned that the Japanese car-maker’s executives will confirm the move on Monday.
The report also states that the move will not have a major impact on jobs because because the plans related to future investment activity.
Nissan said back in 2016 that the X-Trail SUV car would be produced on Wearside after receiving assurances from the Government.
The firm employs 7,000 people at its Sunderland factory and 8,000 overall in the UK.
“These rumours are disturbing and will cause the workforce to have a very anxious weekend even though production of the X-Trail would have necessitated additional jobs on site.
"We have a dedicated, world-class workforce in Sunderland, good jobs that support families and communities who deserve far better than this.
"We are working hard to establish the truth behind current speculation and will be meeting with the company on Monday morning to establish both the facts and how such news has been released without a discussion with the union.
“The X-Trail model was a sign of the company's continued investment into the Sunderland plant and a growing workforce, as well as its enduring commitment to the UK.
“The new jobs and apprenticeships that the X-Trail would have led to are desperately needed in the local economy and our priority now is to ensure that investment commitments are upheld and that Nissan at Sunderland has the bright future this loyal and skilled workforce deserves.”
Nissan is part-owned by French manufacturer Renault, which had led to concerns that production could be moved to France to avoid any tariffs which might be introduced on exports to the EU if the UK leaves the single market in a hard Brexit.
According to Sky News’ report, Nissan’s decision is not expected to have a major impact on jobs.
Other Nissan models built at the Sunderland plant include the Qashqai, Juke, Q30, Note and the zero-emission electric Leaf.