Nissan Qashqai: A look at the all-new third generation car
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The production of the new Qashqai model is said to support 7,000 Nissan jobs and will create 24,000 new roles across the supply chain, and 5,000 jobs in UK dealerships. The move is a monumental triumph for post-Brexit Britain, after Nissan pledged back in January to continue manufacturing cars in the UK as a result of the trade deal reached between the UK and the EU. Last year, Nissan warned that if the UK left the EU without a trade deal in place, tariffs on cars and components would make the Sunderland plant “unsustainable”.
However, the successful trade deal between the UK and the bloc was a “positive” for Nissan, according to the company’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta.
He told the BBC in January: “The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan.
“Being the largest automaker in the UK we are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK.
“It has created a competitive environment for Sunderland, not just inside the UK but outside as well.
“We’ve decided to localise the manufacture of the 62kWh battery in Sunderland so that all our products qualify [for tariff-free export to the EU].
“We are committed to Sunderland for the long term under the business conditions that have been agreed.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed Nissan’s decision to continue manufacturing in Sunderland.
He said: “Nissan’s decision represents a genuine belief in Britain and a huge vote of confidence in our economy thanks to the certainty our trade deal with the EU delivers.”
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Industry insiders welcomed Nissan’s decision but warned that the Government needs to do more to secure the future of the industry as cars electrify.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “The battery plant in Sunderland may be enough for Nissan’s near-term plans to build tens of thousands of electric cars but the UK made 1.5 million cars last year and all will be partly electric by 2030.”
Professor David Bailey of Warwick University agreed with Mr Hawes.
He said: “This is obviously good news and will help the Nissan Leaf avoid any future tariffs, but we are going to need to see a lot more investment in battery production in the UK if we are to preserve the UK as a car manufacturer and exporter.”
The Nissan Qashqai is now the highest-volume car made in Britain and has been a massive success for the Japanese car manufacturer.
The new model will have a more slick design, more interior space and will have electrified powertrains for the first time.
The car manufacturer also announced more support for its “Nissan Skills Foundation Event” which aims to inspire the net generation to think about careers in manufacturing and engineering.
The company have vowed that every child in the north eat will be offered a place on the firm’s programme.
Alan Johnson, Nissan vice president for manufacturing in the UK, said: “Sunderland Plant is built on 35 years of manufacturing excellence, and from the skills and expertise of our world-class team comes a car for the future.
“We know it has been a tough year for young people, so we’re using the launch of this next-generation car to step up our efforts to inspire the next-generation of manufacturing talent.
“We want every child in the North East of England to have the opportunity to be inspired by the Nissan Skills Foundation.”
Prices for the new Nissan Qashqai start from £23,535.
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