Sunderland’s Nissan plant is showing the rest of the country how it is done, says city council leader Coun Paul Watson.
“This plant is a shining example of what the Government is trying to do – export-led economic recovery,” he said.
“It can’t be overestimated how important Nissan is to Sunderland.”Coun Paul Watson
The Sunderland plant smashed the 500,000 mark for the third successive year in 2014, turning out 500,237 cars.
One in every five cars built in the UK is a Qashqai, and four out of five vehicles are exported to Europe.
“It can’t be overestimated how important Nissan is to Sunderland,” said Coun Watson.
“This is an auspicious day. With investment like this, Nissan is demonstrating its belief in Sunderland, in the North East of England and in the workforce that has created this great company here in the North East.”
The plant’s critical importance to the North East economy runs far deeper than just the number of staff it employs directly.
More than 6,800 people work at the plant, but many times that figure are employed in the plant’s supply chain.
And Nissan’s ‘just-in-time’ production policy, which sees parts produced to order rather than stockpiled in large numbers, means many of those supply chain jobs are located close to the plant.
The latest reach from Make It Sunderland shows 15,000 people are employed in the automotive sector on Wearside, with Nissan and suppliers such as Lear at Rainton Bridge and Calsonic Kansei at Washington and Pennywell, with a further 13,000 in supply chain companies across the region.
North East Chamber of Commerce director of policy Ross Smith welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the firm is building a 25-year lifespan new press on Wearside.
“This is wonderful news for Sunderland,” he said.
“Such an investment shows the long-term commitment Nissan is making to the North East and is testament to the hard work of employees and the quality of the supply chain in Wearside and across the whole region.”