Nissan’s decision to manufacture a new hatchback model at its Sunderland plant means 225 jobs will be created in the factory, with a further 900 jobs at companies in the supply chain.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister David Cameron and Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga, during a visit to Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan earlier this morning.
The decision follows an announcement last month that the Sunderland plant will also produce a compact car based on the so-called Invitation concept model from next year.
The two new models will result in more than 3,000 jobs being created in the UK automotive sector within the next two years – 625 at Nissan, with the rest located at SMEs in the company’s supply chain. The company estimates that around 80,000 of the new hatchback car will be built every year.
Once recruitment for both models is complete, the Sunderland plant’s workforce will number 6,225, supporting annual production of more than half a million models.
Mr Shiga said: “Nissan already produces more vehicles in Europe than any other Asian manufacturer and the model announced today will bring world-class quality and leading technology to our customers at the heart of the European C-segment.”
He added: “I would also like to thank the UK Government for its strong and sustained support which allows us to continue making significant, long-term investment in our Sunderland operation.”
The Prime Minister said: “Nissan’s investment in the UK is a huge vote of confidence in the skills and flexibility of the UK workforce. We want to attract more investment like this and that’s why we’re encouraging foreign companies with incentives like the RGF.”
Nissan is investing an additional £127m in its Sunderland operation, supported by an offer of £8.2m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
The news was warmly welcomed from all sectors of industry.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Nissan’s commitment to the UK demonstrates the growing strength and global competitiveness of our sector and with new jobs being created at the plant and in the supply chain it shows the broader economic impact of today’s news.”
“Nissan’s decision to build a new hatchback at its Sunderland factory is recognition of the highly skilled workforce in the North East,” said Unite national officer Tony Murphy. “The government urgently needs to learn from the UK car industry and start helping to drive growth across other sectors of UK manufacturing.”