Nissan on Friday confirmed that its UK plant will remain open and operations will continue after Brexit deal with the country and European Union (EU), a development that has been greeted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
There has been speculation that Brexit would lead to Nissan wrapping up its presence in the UK, casting a shadow on the company's plant in Sunderland. These speculations, however, were put to rest when the Japanese car maker said operations would continue.
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The UK and EU reached a trade deal recently which, among other things, ensured that there won't be any tariff or quotas imposed on trade between the two sides. This may have been a key factor behind Nissan's recent decision with the Associated Press reporting Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta hailing the decision. He is believed to have said that doing away with the possibility of tariffs ensures a future for the Sunderland plant and the around 6,000 employees here.
Happier though would be Johnson who has hailed the decision as a 'great vote of confidence' and termed it 'fantastic news.'
Unions are mighty pleased too as this brings an end to over five years of uncertainty. "Through continued economic and public health uncertainty they have battled to maintain this plant as one of the most productive in the autos sector and to put it in the best place to transition to the next generation of vehicles," Steve Bush, an official at the Unite union, was quoted as saying by AP.
Nissan had already decided to shift all battery production to the UK. "The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. Being the largest auto maker in the UK, we are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK," Gupta has said in an interview to BBC. As such, the plant could also be the main focus point for Nissan to drive in newer models in the UK.