The Japanese automaker said it has received 'support and assurances' from the UK government.

Nissan has confirmed that production of the Qashqai crossover will remain in the United Kingdom after the Japanese automaker received “support and assurances” from the U.K. government.

Nissan also announced the next-generation X-Trail SUV will be built in the U.K. The current car is built in Japan.

The future of the plant in Sunderland, in the northeast of England, had been in doubt since the country voted to leave the European Union. In September, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said he would cut investment in the U.K. if compensation for any tariffs resulting from Brexit was not guaranteed.

In a statement released today, Ghosn said: “I am pleased to announce that Nissan will continue to invest in Sunderland. Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day.

“The support and assurances of the U.K. government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland. I welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain and to the development of an overall industrial strategy.”

The exact nature of the deal struck has not been revealed. However, Nissan Europe executive Colin Lawther told the BBC: “It’s just a commitment from the government to work with the whole of the automotive industry to make sure the whole automotive industry in the U.K. remains competitive.”

The Sunderland plant builds more cars than other in the U.K. Since it opened in 1986, 9 million cars have rolled out of the doors, and current production stands at around 500,000 units a year, 80 per cent of which is exported, mostly to E.U. countries. 7,000 people are directly employed there, with a further 28,000 in the local supply chain.

As well as the current Qashqai, the Juke crossover, Leaf EV, and Infiniti Q30 hatchback are built in Sunderland. The next-gen Qashqai is expected to be launched in 2018 or 2019, while the X-Trail should arrive around the turn of the decade.

Source: Automotive News Europe; BBC

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