Japanese carmaker Nissan has announced that it will retain its plant in Sunderland, England, but will be closing its factories in Spain, signalling that it may pull out of more locations across the European Union.
Project Fear mongers have, since the before the vote to leave the EU in 2016, claimed that leaving the bloc would result in Britain’s car manufacturing base being decimated.
However, in the years following the referendum, the opposite has proven true with Aston Martin, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, among others, committing to Brexit Britain, with the Institute of the Motor Industry saying in 2018 that new technology could add 320,000 jobs to the domestic car industry by 2030.
A Nissan spokesman said, according to Sky News, on Thursday: “Europe will remain an important part of Nissan’s global business.
“We have more than three decades of history in Europe, where Nissan created the crossover segment and took the lead in the roll-out of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
“As the new Nissan mid-term plan explains, the company will be focusing on core models and technologies, which in Europe is our range of crossovers and electrified technologies.
“Sunderland remains an important part of our plans for the European business.
“The new Juke was recently launched, and the plant is now preparing for the arrival of the new Qashqai.”
They *said* if we didn't adopt the Euro, we'd lose Nissan.
They *said* if we voted Leave, we'd lose Nissan.
They *said* with a 'hard' Brexit, we'd lose Nissan.
What *actually* happened?
The manufacturer is moving out of Spain.
Choosing to prioritise its Sunderland operation!
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) May 28, 2020
The Sunderland plant employs some 6,700 people and is Britain’s largest car plant. It produces the Qashqai, which is the best-selling British-made car, the Juke, and the Leaf, which is the world’s best-selling electric car.
Nissan is also reportedly in talks to build two models for Renault — part of the French-Japanese alliance along with Nissan and Mitsubishi — in Sunderland.
Responding to the news, Brexit campaign veteran Nigel Farage said: “For over 20 years we were told if we join the Euro and then left the EU that Nissan would close, a common BBC headline. Here is the happy reality.”
For over 20 years we were told if we join the Euro and then left the EU that Nissan would close, a common BBC headline. Here is the happy reality. https://t.co/ZsYtBPz01F
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 28, 2020
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