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Nissan job fears as car maker puts brakes on diesel sales in Europe

Fresh questions over the security of hundreds of jobs at Nissan’s Sunderland plant will be raised after the Japanese car maker reportedly made plans to stop selling diesel cars in Europe.
The car maker will not put diesel engines in future models of its car as it adapts to a sharp decline in diesel vehicle sales, reports from Japan have indicated.
Nissan already revealed last month that it would lay off employees at the UK’s largest car-making plant, but it was understood that the job cuts would affect less than 10pc of the 7,000-strong workforce.
Around a quarter of the Sunderland plant’s output is diesel-powered cars. The plans to stop selling such vehicles in Europe altogether could put even more of the jobs at the factory in the North East of England under pressure.
Nissan job fears as car maker puts brakes on diesel sales in Europe

Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa
Japan’s national public broadcaster NHK reported that Nissan would stop selling diesel in Europe as part of its aim to sell one million electric vehicles a year by 2022. A Nissan spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The Japanese firm’s sales in Britain tumbled 35pc in the first quarter of the year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Nissan expects its production to slow during 2018 but pick up next year. Nissan produces 500,000 vehicles a year at the factory in Sunderland.
The tightening regulatory environment in Europe and the slide in diesel cars sales were cited as factors behind the decision.
Car industry figures have blamed the Government for “demonising” diesel, which has resulted in sales of the cars in the UK nosediving. While UK new car sales rebounded in April after a year-long slump, diesel sales continued to plunge, suffering a 25pc year-on-year drop. Diesel’s market share of sales last month fell to 31pc from 45pc a year ago.
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Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, outlined higher taxes on new diesel vehicles in the Autumn Budget despite industry figures arguing that the new engines are cleaner. Proceeds from the levy would be use to fund clean air initiatives. Diesel’s reputation in Europe was dealt a critical blow by the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015. The German carmaker falsified emissions data on diesel cars to make them appear cleaner than they were.
Other car makers, including Jaguar Land Rover, have also announced plans to cut production amid the downturn in the UK car market. Toyota, one of Nissan’s main Japanese competitors, unveiled plans last month to stop selling new diesel cars in the UK and Europe by the end of the year.
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