NISSAN’S latest advertising star has been a model employee for more than a quarter of a century.
Twenty-eight-year-old Chris Pickbourne is the face of the car giant’s latest recruitment drive – but it is not the first time he has taken centre stage.
More than 25 years ago, he donned a set of specially-made overalls to star in a series of ads inviting applicants to join “Britain’s most successful two-year-old”, after being volunteered by mum Wendy, a member of the plant’s finance team.
Chris, from Washington, said: “The factory was under construction when I was born, and it’s amazing to think how the company has grown during my lifetime.”
At the time of those first ads, Nissan made just one model – the Bluebird – in Sunderland, with the plant’s 1,100 staff turning out 28,797 vehicles in 1987.
Since Chris joined Nissan in 2012, Sunderland has become the first UK factory ever to make more than 500,000 cars in a single year, with staff numbers rising beyond 6,000 for the first time.
“I’ve always had an interest in Nissan’s success, and knowing what an exciting period it was for the company, the job security and the benefits offered, it was a great time to join the maintenance department,” said Chris.
“It’s a very challenging and rewarding environment and we’re all very much looking forward to seeing the new models in production.”
Wendy, 56, who has now been at Nissan for 26 years, said: “When I took Chris to the shoot there were a few volunteers, but he was the only one that would sit still for the photographer.
“I’m a very proud mother and have had many happy years at Nissan, so I was delighted when he returned home to join me at the plant.”
Greg Penn, the contact name on the 1980s adverts, is now HR Director at the plant: “Chris is one of more than 600 extra staff we have hired over the past two years to support record production levels and new model preparations,” he said.
“We are actively recruiting for experienced professional people across our engineering and maintenance departments, so I’d encourage anyone interested in Nissan to visit our recruitment website.”
Vacancies on the company’s recruitment website www.careersatnissan.co.uk include product and process development engineers, facility engineers, maintenance engineers, quality assurance engineers and electrical and mechanical maintenance technicians.