Statement following announcement of Nissan's Sunderland decision

04 February 2019

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, is to update MPs following the recent news about Nissan's decision to manufacture its new vehicle in Japan instead of its Sunderland plant.

Nissan announced it would be manufacturing a new model of its vehicles in Japan instead of the United Kingdom. The company said it had taken the decision as “The continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future”.

During his statement, Business Secretary, Greg Clark made the following comments:

"I was informed by Nissan that following a global review of its capital investment, future capital was needed to accelerate the shift in Europe from conventional to lower-emission vehicles. The Qashqai and the Juke will in future have petrol and plug-in hybrid variants made in Sunderland, and as a result, more capital will be invested in Sunderland than was originally planned in 2016. However, this was accompanied by a decision to maintain Japan as the sole production location for the X-Trail model, rather than to establish a new production line in Europe. The consequence of this is that the existing jobs in Sunderland will be maintained by the increased investment, but that the 741 additional jobs that would have been created in Sunderland will not now be available. Nissan confirmed that production of the new Qashqai, Juke and Leaf will continue at Sunderland, and that the decision has no implications for the existing jobs at the plant."

The Secretary also confirmed that Nissan applied via the regional growth fund:

"Nissan initially considered applying for a total of up to £80 million in support over nine years for skills training, research and development, and environmental improvements, and it was eventually awarded £61 million—around £7 million a year over nine years."

In response to these comments, Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey said:

"The Secretary of State noted that £61 million was eventually applied for. Can he confirm whether any of the conditions surrounding that £61 million were written into any formal agreement? Can he also confirm whether Nissan will still receive the £61 million, despite the move? He intimated that it may have to reapply for certain forms of grant funding. What assessment has he made of the impact of yesterday’s decision on the wider supply chain, particularly those companies that might already have decided to start investment?"

Image: PA

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