Falling diesel sales more than Brexit behind Nissan’s X-Trail decision

Promises by Theresa May were not enough to stop carmaker doing a U-turn over new model

When Nissan announced its intention to build the new X-Trail in Sunderland in October 2016, it was hailed by the government as a vote of confidence in Britain, so soon after the referendum result that had shocked Japanese carmakers. Theresa May was personally involved in lobbying the company, giving assurances to Nissan’s ousted chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, shortly before the decision.

The government’s promises that Nissan would not be harmed by Brexit included pledges to ensure supply chains were not affected and commitments to research and development and training. However, that work appears to have been undone, with the Sunderland factory caught between an increasingly fraught political situation on one side and falling demand for its products on the other.

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