Nissan will reportedly build the electric successors to the Juke and Qashqai at its UK factory in Sunderland.
Sky News says the Japanese manufacturer will make an announcement this Friday, following “months of talks” with the government, in a move that is said to safeguard thousands of jobs at the site, where around 6000 staff currently build the petrol versions of the two crossovers alongside the electric Leaf.
Sky says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have been involved in the discussions, with Nissan’s commitment tied to a ‘significant’ government funding guarantee.
Nissan’s own investment in the scheme will likely be upwards of £1 billion, according to automotive industry sources.
The firm is currently building its EV360 battery factory at the site, which has the potential to produce up to 35GWh of batteries each year – around a third of the capacity the UK is expected to require by 2030.
It recently confirmed it would only launch electric cars in Europe from now on, before ceasing combustion car sales completely in the region from 2030. It has not yet, however, hinted at when it will launch electric versions of the Qashqai and Juke, which have been on sale in their current forms for two and four years, respectively.
The Qashqai was the UK’s best-selling car in 2022, with nearly 43,000 units sold, and accounts for a fifth of all cars built in the UK since it launched in 2007.
Reports of Nissan’s imminent announcement come just hours after UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged £2 billion of support to industry for zero-emission investment in the UK’s automotive sector in the next five years.
The money, announced by Hunt in his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday (22 November), will be part of a wider £4.5bn support package in “strategic manufacturing sectors” before 2030. The government said the funding was targeted at the “UK’s strongest, world-leading sectors” and would help those sectors remain “at the forefront of the global transition to net zero”.
Hunt said: “For our advanced manufacturing and green energy sectors, international investors say the biggest thing we can do is announce a longer-term strategy for their industries.”
He said the overall £4.5bn funding would “leverage many times that from the private sector and in turn will grow our economy, creating more skilled, higher-paid jobs in new industries that will be built to last.”
The £2bn for zero-emission investments in the automotive industry “has been warmly welcomed by Nissan and Toyota”, Hunt said.
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This notice was published: 2023-11-22 20:05:42
Coach is a weekly British motoring magazine published by Haymarket Media Group. First published in 1895, it bills itself as “the world’s oldest automotive magazine.”