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writer Mark Twain sent a tele­gram not­ing: ‘Re­ports of my death are greatly ex­ag­ger­ated.’

Nis­san must have been sim­i­larly tempted this week when a trade press gos­sip col­umn in Ger­many claimed the Ja­panese com­pany and its French part­ner Re­nault were about to an­nounce they were clos­ing their Sun­der­land plant over Brexit and quit­ting the UK.

The re­ports were glee­fully leapt on by arch-Re­main­ers ea­ger to ex­ploit any Brexit Schaden­freude, and given wider cir­cu­la­tion by the mo­tor in­dus­try’s Au­to­mo­tive News and the BBC.

But with a Brexit deal dead­line loom­ing, Nis­san, which has in­vested £400 mil­lion to pro­duce the third­gen­er­a­tion Qashqai in Bri­tain from next year (pic­tured above and yet to be un­veiled, hence the cam­ou­flage), said: ‘Th­ese ru­mours are not true.’

How­ever, they did say a nodeal Brexit and re­sult­ing tar­iffs could threaten the plant’s long-term sus­tain­abil­ity.

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