NISSAN’S Sunderland plant is creating 400 new jobs as its gears up to move to total 24-hour working for the first time in its history.
The plant is introducing a third shift on production line two to cope with demand for the new-look Note, which it began building last month.
The new recruits will allow round-the-clock production to begin from early next year and take the headcount at the plant to more than 6,500.
The move is also expected to provide a knock-on boost to employment in the plant’s supply chain, much of which is located in the North East.
Nissan’s vice-president for manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick said: “The addition of this third shift on line two and 24-hour production across all Nissan’s operations at Sunderland is a major milestone, not only for our plant, but for the UK car industry. It is the result of years of hard work and consistently high performance by our workforce here at Sunderland, so I would like to congratulate them on this latest achievement.”
The plant has been running a three-shift operation on Line One since 2010, building the Qashqai and more recently the Leaf.
The third shift on Line Two, which builds the Juke and Juke Nismo, as well as the Note, will mean 24-hour-a-day production not only on both vehicle production lines but also in the supporting engine assembly, castings, axle and battery production areas.
Today’s announcement marks the latest stage of a period of high activity for Nissan on Wearside.
As well as the new Note, the plant is due to begin production of a new-look Qashqai in the coming months, followed by an entirely new model as part of Nissan’s high-end Infiniti range.
The start of Infiniti production in Sunderland has meant an extension to the plant, work on which is scheduled to begin next week.
City council leader Coun Paul Watson, said: “Creating more new jobs at the Nissan plant is good news for Sunderland and the wider region, and this is another welcome boost for the wider supply chain too. We already know Nissan to be at the heart of European and world automotive manufacturing, and seeing the majority of the plant moving to round-the-clock production is a significant announcement.”