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United Kingdom Loses Nissan X-Trail Production

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The United Kingdom is in the middle of a bitter divorce from the European Union called Brexit, and negotiations are not going well. All the uncertainty has pushed Nissan to protect its interests. Future production of the Nissan X-Trail SUV, promised to the UK since 2016, is staying where it is in Japan.

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When Nissan announced its decision this month, it directly cited the uncertainty of Brexit in its reasoning, according to Fortune. Nissan chooses where to build its cars every new generation, and the X-Trail’s latest redesign is in development. As of right now, the other vehicles and parts made in Sunderland will stay where they are.

While Nissan took a hard line against Brexit’s uncertainty in its announcement, it attempted to soothe its employees by reminding them that production of the Juke and Qashqai is still on track at the plant. It offered no guarantees for future generations, however.

The blow to the Sunderland region seems especially ironic considering that residents voted in favor of Brexit by a whopping 61.3 percent. When Bloomberg visited the region after the announcement, feedback from residents was mixed. Workers from inside the plant reported that both Remain and Leave supporters work in the facility. Some thought that the politicians and executives warning of the effects of Brexit were making things up to win votes, and some are now panicking because production their jobs depend on is drifting away. Others are confident because the decision doesn’t come with immediate job cuts.

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Other automakers are bracing for a possible hard Brexit, which will set up tariffs and hard borders between the EU and the UK, by stockpiling parts and considering other manufacturing options. As the March deadline for an economic deal looms ahead, we’ll be watching the British auto manufacturing sector closely.

News Sources: BloombergFortune