The Nissan Qashqai has been a big hit for Nissans Sunderland plant

The Nissan Qashqai has been a big hit for Nissan's Sunderland plant

Nissan's UK vehicle manufacturing plant at Sunderland is planning a downward adjustment to output this year as it transitions to a new range of powertrains and reacts to lower diesel sales in the UK and European markets. Reports say that some decline to employment levels at the plant is  expected, with voluntary redundancy packages to be offered initially.

In a statement the firm said: "As previously communicated, we are transitioning to a new range of powertrains over the next year. As we make the operational changes required to support this, we will be managing a planned short-term reduction in powertrain supply and plant volumes at NMUK in line with our 2018 business plan. We are now discussing these operational changes with our employees."

Nissan's UK manufacturing plant sends a high proportion of its exports to markets in Europe. Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has described it as a European manufacturing facility that is situated in the UK. Data released by ACEA shows that Nissan new car sales in Europe (EU+EFTA) were down by 16% to 77,700 units in March. In the first quarter sales Nissan car sales were down 10.4% to 160,057 units, with market share down from 4.2% to 3.7%.

UK media reports suggest that 'hundreds' of jobs  may be lost - the plant employs around 7,000 workers.

UK car production by manufacturer, 2017

Model rangeLocation20172016% change
Jaguar Land RoverF-type, F-Pace, XE, XF, XJ, Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Evoque, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover VelarCastle Bromwich / Halewood / Solihull532107544401-2.3
NissanJuke, LEAF, Note, Qashqai, Infiniti Q30Sunderland495206507446-2.4
ToyotaAuris, AvensisBurnaston-Derby144077180425-20.1
HondaCivic, CR-VSwindon16416013414622.4
VauxhallAstraEllesmere Port92164118182-22.0
All makesAllAll16711661722698-3.0

Source: SMMT

See also: Nissan confirms future models for UK plant 

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