May's spokesman: Nissan move is 'very disappointing'

Christopher Davidson
February 6, 2019

To date, some £60m of that money has already been provided to Nissan and a junior minister yesterday confirmed that the sum, disclosed for the first time yesterday in a letter sent by Business Secretary Greg Clark in 2016 to Nissan's then chief executive Carlos Ghosn, would not have to be repaid.

But the company said Sunday the X-Trail for the European market will be produced in its Kyushu plant in Fukuoka Prefecture, citing "the continued uncertainty around the U.K.'s future relationship with the EU". However, the company announced on Sunday that it had made a decision to consolidate X-Trail production in Japan, citing wider industry pressures in the United Kingdom and Brexit uncertainty.

Nissan's Sunderland plant directly employs 6700 at the site and produces 2000 cars per day, making it one of the largest employers in the region.

In a letter to workers, it said continued Brexit uncertainty is not helping firms to "plan for the future".

The British government promised Nissan up to £80 million ($104 million) as it sought to reassure the Japanese carmaker about the future of its United Kingdom operations after the Brexit vote in 2016.

Labour's Long-Bailey said Nissan's X-Trail announcement was a "bitter blow" to the north-east, the automotive sector and Britain's industrial strategy.

Meanwhile, pro-EU and pro-Brexit U.K. politicians traded allegations about whether Nissan's decision not to build a new SUV in northern England was the latest Brexit-induced damage to Britain's economy.

Alphabet profit margins slide due to rising Google costs
The other segment of interest in Alphabet's ledger is "other bets", which is where the company lumps all non-Google business. Alphabet's earnings totaled $12.77 a share in the fourth quarter, about $2 a share above the consensus estimate.

Large auto manufacturers have been struggling with a huge slump in European diesel vehicle sales, a slowdown in Chinese purchases and a tough transition to a new EU emissions-testing system.

"They also pointed out what they've said consistently since 2016, that a risk of a no-deal Brexit is a source of damaging uncertainty".

Although it also stressed that other future models planned for Nissan Sunderland plant - the next-generation Juke and Qashqai - remain unaffected. "So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan's success". North East business leaders have been saying 'We need clarity, we need some certainty'.

"Although Nissan says it has taken the move to consolidate and produce the X-Trail in Japan for business reasons, it has also pointed to the continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union as not being helpful".

"The continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future", he said.

Vehicle maker Nissan has scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail 4x4 in Britain, saying it had taken the decision to consolidate production in Japan and warning two months before Brexit that uncertainty was making it harder to plan for the future.

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