Prime Minister reveals Nissan news on Japanese visit

Prime Minister David Cameron (right) talks with British employees at Nissan headquarters  on April 10, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

Prime Minister David Cameron (right) talks with British employees at Nissan headquarters on April 10, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

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IT’S boom time at Sunderland’s Nissan plant.

The factory today announced plans to launch an extra shift when it starts building another new model.

The car giant revealed its workforce will start building an as-yet-unnamed new medium hatchback in 2014, in a move which will create more than 1,000 jobs at the plant and throughout its supply chain.

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The announcement was made by PM David Cameron and Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga during a visit by the Prime Minister to the car giant’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.

It follows last month’s news that Sunderland will also produce a new compact car, based on the Invitation concept model, from next year.

The two new models between them will create more than 3,000 jobs in the UK car industry – 625 at Nissan and the remainder throughout the supply chain – and take the firm’s Wearside workforce to a record 6,225.

The factory will build about 80,000 units of the new model a year.

Introducing a new shift will see both production lines operating “around the clock” for the first time in the plant’s 26-year history, taking potential annual production to more than 550,000 vehicles.

Today’s announcement means the plant will be building five models – the new car will join the Qashqai, Juke, the all-electric Leaf and the Invitation on the production line.

The latest model represents an additional £127million investment by Nissan in its Sunderland operation and is supported by an offer of £8.2million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Speaking during his visit to Japan, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It’s fantastic news that Nissan will be building its new hatchback model in the UK and that it expects to create more than 1,000 jobs at the Sunderland plant and in the supply chain across the country.

“It is proof of the strength and vitality of the British manufacturing industry that leading companies like Nissan are expanding their production in the UK.”

Mr Shiga said: “In Europe, Nissan has achieved record growth in recent years by providing innovative, customer-focused models like Qashqai and Juke that are designed, developed and produced within the region.

“Nissan already produces more vehicles in Europe than any other Asian manufacturer and the model announced today will bring world-class quality and leading technology to our customers at the heart of the European C-segment.

“I would also like to thank the UK Government for its strong and sustained support which allows us to continue making significant, long-term investment in our Sunderland operation.”

More details about the new car including pricing, engine line-up and equipment levels will be released closer to its sales launch.

l A major recruitment campaign is now taking place at Nissan Sunderland Plant.

Roles immediately available include engineering, maintenance and production supervisor positions.

Candidates can find all information at www.careersatnissan.co.uk

Twitter: @SunEchoBiz