Saturday, 20 December 2014

Nissan halts UK sales to Russia

Nissan, after declaring Russia as one its top European area for sales, ahead of the UK, has frozen orders from the region..

According to The Northern Echo newspaper, Nissan has been forced to take action as the country’s economy continues its dramatic fall.

Russia’s currency has tumbled and the country is close to recession as it battles falling oil prices and sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis, putting pressure on vehicle manufacturers.

Nissan told The Northern Echo its Sunderland factory has previously sent its popular Qashqai and Juke models to the country.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the Nissan-Renault Alliance, says Nissan has stopped taking orders until it has a better picture of Russia’s financial standing.

“We have suspended taking orders,” he added. “We didn’t suspend orders overall, just on some models. We said, ‘sorry, but until we see where this situation is going, we don't take orders’.”

Ghosn noted the freeze is limited to specific models, with orders already placed due to be honoured.

The halt is not expected to have any serious implications on Nissan's work at its Sunderland plant. Last month, the firm revealed it had made its two millionth Qashqai in the North-East.

Nissan stated that of the two million Qashqais made in Sunderland since December 2006, 85 per cent (1,706,633) have been exported to 132 international markets.

The company is now eyeing its next phase of growth when production of the sporty Infiniti model becomes the first Sunderland-built model exported to the US.

A UK team has travelled to Japan to refine prototypes of the luxurious Infiniti Q30 hatchback, with production trials due to start in February ahead of car-making in August.
The Sunderland plant is being extended and 280 staff recruited to make it capable of producing up to 60,000 Infiniti vehicles a year.

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