Nissan executive vice president Trevor Mann CBE has been granted the Freedom of the City of Sunderland in recognition of his “enormous contribution” to the city’s economy.
Council members yesterday voted to confer Honorary Freedom to Mr Mann, who joined the company in 1985 as a team leader in the workforce which launched car manufacturing in north-east England.
Now an executive vice president based at Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, and chairman of the Management Committee for Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe, Mann’s career success has mirrored the Sunderland plant’s growth into the biggest UK car plant in history.
The company now also claims a record market share in Europe.
Mann, who was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours List for his Services to Business in North East England, said: “The honour is a reflection of the many achievements of our UK plant and a mutually supportive partnership spanning three decades between Nissan and Sunderland City Council.
“None of Nissan Sunderland plant’s success would have been possible without the dedication and contribution of my colleagues at the plant, so I would like to thank them all for their hard work and outstanding performance over many years.”
Others chosen to become Freemen at the meeting were Joël Batteux OBE, Mayor of Sunderland’s twin town of St Nazaire; and Sunderland football legend, Niall Quinn MBE.
In conferring the honour, Sunderland City Council noted the many skilled jobs and careers created at the Nissan plant and in its supply base under Mann’s leadership, as well as the personal role he played in helping the city to develop its own economic strategy.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The City Council has been incredibly proud of its partnership with the company, and of the benefits and opportunities generated as a result, for the local community and economy.
“More recently, Mr Mann made invaluable contributions to the development of the Sunderland Economic Masterplan and was a thoughtful and respected member of the city’s Economic Leadership Board.”