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Car maker's profits slump

Fears for Sunderland as Nissan says 12,500 worldwide jobs to go

Nissan X-Trail

The new X-Trail will not be built in Britain

Nissan is to cut 12,500 jobs globally by 2022 and reduce output amid a slowdown in sales and rising costs.

The company did not say where the axe will fall, leaving 6,700 workers at the company’s Sunderland plant, and an estimated 27,000 in the supply chain, uncertain about their future.

Japan’s second biggest car maker made the announcement as it posted a 98.5% plunge in first-quarter operating profit to £11.9 million.

Nissan has already cancelled the production of two models at its Sunderland plant this year and has said that Brexit would be harmful to its continuing operations in the UK.

The UK government promised the company up to £80m in support after the EU referendum.

The Sunderland plant has previously been described as the most productive car plant in Britain, with around one in three British cars made by Nissan which exports to more than 130 countries.

But it has faced significant uncertainty over its survival amid Brexit concerns and its decision not to build its new X-Trail SUV in the north-east.

The company is facing problems elsewhere, notably in its key North America market where it has been stung by mounting costs for vehicle discounts to keep up with stronger sales at its rivals.

Nissan is also in turmoil over its former chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who has been arrested and charged with a range of offences in Japan, as well as the future of its alliance with the French car maker Renault.

The European market is undergoing a period of consolidation with Ford, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover are among firms that have announced major job losses in the UK, while Vauxhall has made future operations in the UK dependent on a good Brexit outcome.

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