Nissan to furlough hundreds of staff amid coronavirus parts crisis

Nissan is to place hundreds of staff at its Sunderland plant on furlough next week as a global parts crisis caused by the Covid pandemic hits the firm’s supply chain.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 11:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 11:47 am

The firm is to suspend the late shift on line two – which produces Qashqai and Juke - for one week as a result of a shortage of semiconductors used in its cars' electrical systems.

Around 750 staff will be affected.

The Echo understands there may be more suspensions on the way as the worldwide shortage continues.

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The Nissan plant on Wearside employs around 7,000 people in the region.

The situation is a worldwide problem which has already seen Honda and Mazda impose temporary stoppages in Japan.

A Nissan spokesman said today, Wednesday, February 24: “A global shortage of semiconductors has affected parts procurement in the auto sector.

"Due to the shortage, Nissan will adjust production and take necessary actions to ensure recovery.”

The Sunderland plant is due to start production of the third generation Qashqai, which was unveiled to the public last week, in the coming months.

Nissan is to furlough staff next week

The furlough news comes after an industry leader warned car-makers were ‘paddling furiously below the water’ to maintain their supply chains after Brexit.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told MPs the movement of parts has been ‘difficult’ since the end of the transition period.

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Giving evidence to the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Mr Hawes said there was a “pervading sense of relief” within the sector that an agreement had been negotiated between the UK and the European Union.

“We ended up, I think, with a deal that in many ways works for the sector, most obviously in the avoidance of tariffs and quotas which would have been a severe brake on the industry,” he said.

“However, it doesn’t mean zero cost. The industry is trying to manage its supply chains. We are integrated within the European, if not the global, industry, so the supply chains do stretch far and wide.

“All the industry is … I characterise it as paddling furiously below the water to keep things going.”

Mr Hawes said the administration required to move goods in and out of the UK was ‘significant’ and a ‘major challenge’.

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