Two-thirds of vot­ers fear Nis­san’s fu­ture

Sunderland Echo - - News - [email protected]­me­ Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

More than 3,000 read­ers took part in an ex­clu­sive Echo poll af­ter Nis­san con­firmed it won’t be build­ing the next-gen­er­a­tion X-Trail in Sun­der­land.

The Ja­pa­nese car gi­ant re­vealed at the week­end that it has can­celled plans to build the new model at its Wear­side­plant–makingaU­turn on its 2016 an­nounce­ment.

Bosses said busi­ness rea­sons, in­clud­ing the slump in diesel sales, are main fac­tors in the de­ci­sion – but also ad­mit­ted that un­cer­tainty over Brexit is not help­ing them make long-term plans.

In our poll, 67%of those who took part say they fear for the fu­ture of the Nis­san plant in Sun­der­land fol­low­ing the week­end’s an­nounce­ment.

Here’s a se­lec­tion of com­ments from our Face­book page on the story, which has made na­tional head­lines.

Ian Ak­ers: “How can any­one still be­lieve it’s not about Brexit? They’re (X-Trails) still go­ing to be built but in a coun­try where ac­cess to the Eu­ro­pean union will be seam­less. I ac­cept the vote was to leave but don’t try to avoid the con­se­quences of the de­ci­sion. Sun­der­land is a city of tur­keys who have voted for Christ­mas.”

Char­lie Barnes: “It’s re­spond­ing to the fact that the WTO tar­iff on car parts is 10%, and that it’s cheaper to as­sem­ble in Ja­pan and ship to the EU than build in the UK if we leave the Sin­gle Mar­ket.”

Heath Jarvis: “Hmmm, no new mod­els, so what hap­pens to your plant when they stop pro­duc­ing the mod­els you pro­duce now. It looks like tur­keys re­ally do vote for Christ­mas.”

Colin Bal­four: No sym­pa­thy! Of course it’s re­lated to Brexit. Nis­san had cri­sis talks with the gov­ern­ment in 2016 for that rea­son, and that rea­son only. The gov­ern­ment hasn’t de­liv­ered on its prom­ises. 61% in Sun­der­land voted for Brexit. Dozens of in­de­pen­dent econ­o­mists and politi­cians who know what they are talk­ing about said it was a bad idea, and you didn’t lis­ten. You made your bed, now lie in it!”

David Owen: “Un­doubt­edly un­cer­tainty around Brexit doesn’t help. But it’s just a small fac­tor when com­pared to the gen­eral au­to­mo­tive down­turn which is Europe-wide. How can any­one say diesel sales be­ing down 30% has noth­ing to do with this de­ci­sion?”

Alex Lowther: “Nis­san al­ways were cau­tious about Brexit. Now re­al­ity hits!”

Michael Har­nett: “Noth­ing is safe with any com­pany. Nis­san has no al­liance with Sun­der­land. If they can build them cheaper else­where they will.”

How­ever, oth­ers took the op­po­site point of view.

Mark Dal­ton: “This is a model that was never built at this plant in the first place. Yes, it would of been fan­tas- tic to get the new build, but it was a busi­ness de­ci­sion by Nis­san. The Sun­der­land MPs should stop us­ing this as part of their own agen­das to re­verse the de­ci­sion the peo­ple of Sun­der­land voted on, and that is to leave the EU. Ei­ther do what we sent you down there to do or let some­one else do it for you.”

Clive John­son: “This de­ci­sion on the X-Trail would have hap­pened any­way, de­spite Brexit. Labour is try­ing to make po­lit­i­cal gain over a busi­ness de­ci­sion and try­ing to blame the Con­ser­va­tives. Did they want the Tories to prom­ise to buy all the un­sold diesel X-Trails that Sun­der­land would have pro­duced?”

Jim Heel: “De­mand for the X-Trail has dropped con­sid­er­ably and in busi­ness you don’t make prod­ucts that don’t sell. That’s why it won’t be made in Sun­der­land.”

Dave Arm­strong: “The EU said over a year ago that they were go­ing to get rid of all diesel ve­hi­cles, so for Nis­san to say what they did is just scare­mon­ger­ing and are try­ing to black­mail MPs into vot­ing against Brexit.”

It has been re­vealed that build­ing the X-Trail could have meant more than 700 new jobs for the Nis­san plant in Sun­der­land.

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