Nissan to lay off hundreds of workers at Sunderland plant

Alfred Osborne
April 21, 2018

Hundreds of workers at Nissan's Sunderland plant are to lose their jobs, after company bosses said "operational changes" were causing it to enact a "short-term reduction in powertrain supply".

The Japanese carmaker, which produces its Juke, Leaf and Qashqai models at the site, Britain's largest auto factory, said that it was in talks about "operational changes" over the next year as it contended with falling demand for diesel-engine vehicles.

Around 7,000 workers are employed at the Sunderland site which builds the Juke, Leaf and Qashqai models - many of which are diesel.

Automaker Nissan will lay off hundreds of workers from its vehicle plant in Sunderland in northeast England due to a sharp fall in diesel auto sales, a source close to the company told AFP on Friday. "We are now discussing these operational changes with our employees".

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Nissan also say the (temporary) cuts in the workforce - expected to be in the hundreds, and based on voluntary losses - are not related to Brexit and are just a symptom of the rapid decline in diesel demand.

New vehicle sales fell 5.7 per cent in the United Kingdom past year amid falling business and consumer confidence.

Demand for diesel fell by a third in the first three months of this year in Britain hit by continued consumer concern over planned tax rises and proposed bans and restrictions in several cities around the world. "In time we expect volumes to increase as we prepare to launch the next generation Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, all being built at NMUK".

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