Nissan delivers another blow to workers in Sunderland

PUBLISHED: 16:08 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 12 March 2019

The Nissan Factory in Sunderland. Photograph: PA Wire.

The Nissan Factory in Sunderland. Photograph: PA Wire.

PA Archive/PA Images

Nissan has delivered another blow to workers at its car plant in Sunderland as it announced it was ceasing production of its Infiniti brand.

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Bridget Phillipson, the Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland, said Nissan’s announcement was “devastating” and laid the blame firmly at the government’s door for its handling of Brexit.

The Japanese manufacturer said it was stopping production of the Q30 and QX30 premium ranges on Wearside - where around 300 employees work on the line.

Phillipson, a People’s Vote campaign supporter, said: “Today’s announcement by Nissan is devastating news for my constituents and people across the North East where thousands of families, local suppliers, shops and small businesses rely on the Nissan plant for their livelihoods.

“The UK car industry is obviously facing a number of challenges, including the phasing out of diesel engines and move to electric vehicles.

“But Nissan came to Sunderland in the 1980s, at a time when the city’s traditional manufacturing, like shipbuilding, was in decline.

“It was Margaret Thatcher’s government which reassured Nissan that the UK’s future lay inside the EU and single market.

“But my voters know that Brexit is unpicking that promise.”

“Now we know the real costs of leaving the EU, we need a real say.

“Now that we know new facts, we need a new vote. It’s time to put Brexit back to the people.”

The Nissan subsidiary has said its was closing its operations in Western Europe to focus its efforts in North America and China where market share continues to grow.

Steve McLennan, head of Infiniti Europe, said: “The commercial reality for Infiniti in Western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business either currently or in the years to come.”

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