NISSAN has unveiled plans to extend its Sunderland plant.
The car giant has applied for permission to build an extra 25,000 sq feet of floorspace, primarily to allow extension of its body shop and trim and chassis sections.
Plant bosses hope the plans could go before the council’s planning committee as early as next month.
“Nissan has applied to Sunderland City Council for planning permission to extend the body shop, paint shop, trim and chassis and press shop at our Sunderland plant,” a company spokesman told the Echo.
“If approved, these extensions will support the continued growth of Nissan’s UK operations, reflecting the success of models manufactured in the UK including Qashqai, Juke, Note and the 100 per cent electric Nissan Leaf.
“The main extensions proposed are to body shop and the trim and chassis building and are required for new production facilities. Recruitment activities are ongoing to support this expansion, especially in our engineering and maintenance departments.
“Anybody interested in joining the company at this exciting time can view all our current vacancies at the website www.careersatnissan.co.uk”
The application is the latest stage in a busy period for the plant, which began building the Leaf earlier this year and has three models in the pipeline.
As well as new versions of the best-selling Qashqai and the popular Note family car, Nissan confirmed before Christmas that it was bringing production of its Infiniti brand to the UK for the first time, a move former plant boss Colin Dodge said would guarantee the future of the Sunderland plant into the 2020s.
Mr Dodge, now a member of the board at the firm’s Japanese headquarters, said: “We hope to start production in 2015 and a car typically last five to six years, and we will be bringing other cars forward, too.”
The announcement was a tribute to the plant’s workforce, he added.
“They have done everything that was asked of them and they have earned the right to make a premium car to go head to-head with the German premium cars.
“It is the first new car brand to start mass production in the UK since Toyota in 1992, so it does not happen very often.”