Plant boss Trevor Mann is swapping Wearside for Yokohama in Japan and a new role in charge of Nissan’s global supply chain.
It brings an end to a 26-year association which has seen Trevor rise from the shop floor to running Europe’s most successful car plant, picking up two honorary doctorates and a CBE on the way.
“It has been a privilege to have been involved in the growth and success of Nissan Sunderland over the past 26 years and to have played my part in the company’s European expansion,” he said.
“With over 6.4million units produced and £3.3million-worth of investment, Nissan has been the UK’s largest car manufacturer for the last 14 years as well as the North East’s largest single site employer and continues to go from strength to strength.
“This success has been down to an enormous team effort, so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our entire workforce for their sustained and continued support in addition to that of our suppliers and the many regional bodies that have also played their part.
“When I started my career at Nissan 26 years ago, I was delighted I’d found a position within such global company and I am very proud of where I am today.
“This, I owe largely to Nissan’s philosophy of nurturing from within, a practice we continue to promote.”
He added: “I am looking forward to my new challenge in Japan as chairman of Africa, Middle East, and India regions and look forward to watching Sunderland’s plant break even more records in the future.”
The 50-year-old, who born in Leigh, Lancashire, attended Durham Johnson Grammar School, Durham Technical College and Gateshead Technical College.
He joined Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) in 1985 as a team leader.
North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham said: “I would like to congratulate Trevor Mann on this well-deserved appointment.
“Under his stewardship Nissan has become a European powerhouse of vehicle production and this has had a huge impact on the whole of the North East economy.
“Trevor has overseen the company’s commitment to electric vehicle production and helped secure the world’s first mass production electric vehicle for the Wearside plant in the Leaf, which will be joined by Nissan’s first lithium-ion battery production facility outside Japan.”
He added: “For a quarter of a century Nissan has established a reputation for excellence and continuous improvement, regularly smashing its own production records.
“The unparalleled level of performance from the Wearside workforce can only have served to convince Nissan’s senior management that Sunderland is the perfect place to oversee production of the new Invitation, which was announced last week.
“While he will be sorely missed in the North East, I feel certain that he will prove as successful in his new role as he has in his time at Sunderland.”