Major UK Car Factory Under Threat

Wed 3rd Jun 2020


One of the country’s biggest car manufacturing plants could still close unless the UK Government avoids a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Nissan plant in Sunderland looked to have secured its future earlier this week when the Japanese car maker announced that it would be closing its Barcelona plant as part of a major global restructuring effort. 

Industry sources have suggested that Nissan may also move some of its Renault production to Sunderland with the French company also delivering major job loss news this week. The company has posted a £5 billion loss for the last financial year, the biggest in a decade.

Nissan’s Sunderland plant is expected to resume production later this month after closing due to the Covid-19 crisis, however that return will be soured with the news that the plant is still under threat.

Speaking to the BBC, Nissan’s COO, Ashwani Gupta has warned that a hard Brexit will make the Sunderland site economically unsustainable.

Mr Gupta said: "You know we are the number one carmaker in the UK and we want to continue. We are committed. Having said that, if we are not getting the current tariffs, it's not our intention but the business will not be sustainable. That's what everybody has to understand."

Nissan has concerns that if the UK doesn’t negotiate a deal with the EU then all cars exported to the continent will be subject to a 10% tariff. The Japanese company has had a base in the North East for 40 years.