Nissan is reportedly set to announce it has cancelled plans to build its new X-Trail SUV at its Sunderland plant, just 53 days before the UK is due to leave the EU.
The Japanese car-maker had voiced concerns about Brexit, before committing to building the new Qashqai and X-Trail models at the north-east plant in October 2016.
At the time, the decision had eased concerns about the plant’s future post-Brexit.
However, the latest reports have been described as “deeply troubling” by Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson.
“If confirmed, this would represent deeply troubling news for the north east economy,” she tweeted.
“So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan’s success.”
The Sunderland plant, which has been active since 1986, employs almost 7,000 people, producing around 2,000 cars a day. According to Sky News, Nissan’s decision is not expected to have a major impact on jobs.
The Japanese company refused to shed light on the situation, with a spokesman saying: “Nissan does not comment on rumour or speculation.”
Sunderland Central MP, Julie Elliott, said: “I will do everything I can to protect jobs at the Sunderland plant.
“I will be asking the Government to intervene, and will stay in close contact with the company itself. But we cannot deny the inevitable role that Brexit plays here. The constant uncertainty, the chaotic government.
“None of it is conducive to encouraging business investment in this country.”
According to Sky, the decision could likely be down to falling consumer demand for diesel vehicles and weak recent sales in Europe.
X-Trail and Qashqai production had secured thousands of jobs in the Brexit-backing city, but prompted a volley of questions over whether a so-called “sweetheart deal” between the car-maker and the Government had been struck to protect the manufacturer from any post-Brexit EU tariff wall.
Ministers strongly denied any financial incentives were offered and Chancellor Philip Hammond said any costs arising from the assurances would be small enough to be covered within existing spending limits at the Department for Business.
So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan’s successBridget Phillipson MP
Nissan is part-owned by French manufacturer Renault, which had led to concerns that production could be moved to France to avoid any tariffs which might be introduced on exports to the EU if the UK leaves the single market in a hard Brexit.
Other Nissan models built at the Sunderland plant include the Qashqai, Juke, Q30, Note and the zero-emission electric Leaf.
Earlier this month American car manufacturer Ford confirmed nearly 400 jobs would be lost at its engine manufacturing plant in Bridgend.
The company said the “voluntary separation programme” at the Welsh factory is needed to cut costs and create a “sustainably profitable business” in Europe.
It followed a similar move by Jaguar Land Rover to reduce its 44,000 workforce by 4,500 under plans to make £2.5 billion of cost savings.
Most of the cuts will be in the UK, with a voluntary programme being launched, and are in addition to 1,500 workers who left the company last year.
Japanese firm Honda also announced six non-production days in April under contingency plans to mitigate the risk of disruption to production at its Swindon factory after the UK leaves the EU.