Nissan has announced it will stop production of two of its Infiniti models at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland.
It comes as another blow to both workers at the plant just weeks after the Japanese carmaker said it would no longer build its X-Trail model there, and another blow to the UK’s car industry as a whole.
Nissan insists Brexit is not a major factor in its decision, stressing that it is part of wider plans to pull the Infiniti brand out of western Europe, where it has struggled to make a mark. Instead, it will focus the brand on the US and Chinese markets.
Inifinti’s chief spokesperson Trevor Hale said: “Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars.”
It said the decision to axe the Q30 and QX30 SUV models from production in Sunderland would affect around 250 staff.
Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said: “This is yet another blow to Sunderland, only a few weeks after Nissan decided to take planned production of the X-Trail out of the city.
“When we look at what is happening to the car industry, from Swindon right through to Sunderland, it is clear the UK car industry has been undermined by this government.”
The car industry has been hit by blow after blow since the start of the year, with the likes of Honda, Ford, Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover all cutting jobs or threatening to pull out of the UK if it leaves the European Union without a deal. And the industry’s trade body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the number of cars built in the UK fell for the eighth month in a row in January.