Nissan to build Qashqai model in UK despite Brexit
28 October 2016
Japanese carmaker Nissan plans to build its Qashqai model in the UK despite Brexit vote, which comes as an important corporate endorsement for prime minister Theresa May since the Brexit referendum in June.
The decision to build the new model at the UK's largest car plant had much to do with the government's offer of support to counter any damage from leaving the EU, according to commentators.
''This vote of confidence shows Britain is open for business and that we remain an outward-looking, world-leading nation,'' May said in a statement.
The UK's big carmakers are nearly all foreign-owned and ship over half their exports to the other 27 countries in the EU.
They had collectively warned that the June vote would make the UK a less-attractive destination for foreign investment, and Nissan especially had threatened to halt spending unless the government guaranteed protection.
Sunderland in the north east of England accounted for nearly a third of the number of cars produced in the UK last year. The decision was of crucial importance its 7,000 workers.
''The support and assurances of the UK government enabled us to decide that the next generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland,'' Ghosn said, Fortune reported.
Japan's Nissan forms part of its alliance with French carmaker Renault, its largest shareholder.
The decision regarding the plant had its own importance for May's Conservative Party since then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher persuaded Nissan to open it in 1984, which sparked a recovery in UK carmaking that had nearly collapsed in the 1970s.
The area, like other parts of England's industrial north, had voted overwhelmingly for Brexit on 23 June, though car manufacturers and their unions had campaigned to stay in the EU.