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Nissan commits to British plant with two new cars

New Qashqai and X-Trail to be built in Sunderland after UK government 'assurances'

The British car industry has received a welcome boost as Nissan has announced further models will be built at its Sunderland plant in the north east.

Next generation versions of the Qashqai and X-Trail will both be built at the factory, after fears Nissan was wary of committing more investment following Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Up until now, the company hadn’t publicly assured workers on the plant’s future.

The Qashqai – both in its current and previous generation – has always been built at Sunderland, while the X-Trail has only been built in Japan thus far. UK production is a bit of a coup, then. Currently, the Nissan Juke, Note and Leaf are built alongside the Qashqai on Wearside, as is the Infiniti Q30.

Nissan’s investment safeguards 7,000 jobs in the factory, as well as 28,000 further jobs in its supply chain. It’s thanks to “support and assurances” from the British government, after the Japanese carmaker had been quite public that it favoured the UK staying in the EU.

“I am pleased to announce that Nissan will continue to invest in Sunderland. Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day,” said Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

“The support and assurances of the U.K. government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland. I welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain and to the development of an overall industrial strategy.”

It remains to be seen whether other overseas carmakers with factories in the UK, including Honda and Toyota, will seek similar assurance before further investment.

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