PRODUCTION started today on a new car which brought hundreds of jobs to Wearside.
The new Nissan Note rolls off the line at its record-breaking Sunderland plant after a £125m investment by the car manufacturer which has created 400 jobs on Wearside.
The investment was secured for the UK with a £9.3m grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The new Note’s design and technology has already caught the attention of customers, with Nissan dealers across Europe taking more than 14,000 pre-orders since the order books opened in July.
John Martin, Nissan’s senior vice- president for manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management in Europe and Michael Fallon, the UK’s Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, attended today’s ceremony to mark the start of production on line two.
Mr Martin said: “The new Nissan Note is giving mainstream B-segment customers an unprecedented combination of design, technology and safety features which up to now have only been available in premium brands.
“This investment is further endorsement of our Sunderland Plant, which is now an international benchmark for productivity and quality as a result of the hard work and consistently high performance by the management and workforce.
“I would like to congratulate all of my colleagues at the plant and in our supply base on the launch of this new model, and once again thank the UK Government for their ongoing support for the automotive industry.”
In addition to vehicle assembly, the new Note has brought additional work to the Sunderland plant and its supply chain in axle production, cylinder head casting, camshaft machining and engine assembly.
In total, the upgraded Nissan Note is responsible for 2,000 new jobs in the UK automotive industry, including 400 staff at Nissan’s workforce at Sunderland, taking the number of British jobs supported by Nissan to more than 35,000.
Business minister Michael Fallon said: “The investment by Nissan to make the Note at the world class Sunderland plant has been achieved by Government and industry working together. It provides a very welcome boost to their exceptional workforce, the North East economy and the country.
“Working in partnership with industry, our automotive industrial strategy sets out how we will secure the long term future of the sector as a UK success story by growing our share of the value chain and by getting ahead of the game in research and development on the vehicles of tomorrow.”
The Nissan Note joins the other models made on Wearside which include the Qashqai, Leaf, Juke and Juke Nismo.