Sunderland MP urges Government to support Nissan's commitment to Wearside

A Sunderland MP has urged the Government to back up Nissan’s commitment to the city with action.
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Sharon Hodgson, whose Washington and Sunderland West constituency covers the plant, said it was up to the Government to back up the firm’s commitment: "The complex arrangements for automotive rules of origin within the trade deal mean that the goalposts will gradually move as we transition to zero-emissions vehicles. We need the Government to show now that it has a plan for the sector beyond the next couple of years.

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The Brexit deal was only the first step, she said and more was needed to safeguard the plant’s long-term future: “The Government must engage with Nissan, to build the infrastructure for the wider supply chain for batteries and electric vehicles here in the North East,” said Mrs Hodgson.

Sharon Hodgson MP. Sharon Hodgson MP.
Sharon Hodgson MP.

"That is what is needed by 2025 for the long-term viability of Nissan.

"We need a clear industrial strategy that supports and delivers for our automotive sector - nothing less."

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Boris Johnson welcomes Nissan's commitment to Sunderland plant

North East Automotive Alliance chief executive Paul Butler said the announcement was ‘extremely positive for the North East’s automotive sector’.

North East Automotive Alliance CEO Paul ButlerNorth East Automotive Alliance CEO Paul Butler
North East Automotive Alliance CEO Paul Butler
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“This only strengthens our claim to be the UK’s leading location for vehicle electrification, and I am sure will strengthen the case for more onshoring of key commodities required for battery production,” he said.

There was an opportunity to develop more industry in the region to support Nissan’s electric vehicle production, he added: "Whilst we have battery production we only have one of the key commodities manufactured in the UK - electrolyte production from Mitsubishi Chemicals in the Tees Valley.

"There is a concerted effort by the UK Government, the Department for Trade, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and others to secure cathode and anode production in the UK and the £1bn Automotive Transformation Fund will play a key role in attracting investment in these areas.

"Given our inherent strengths in the chemical industry around Teesside the North East is well placed to capitalise further in this global mega trend of vehicle electrification.”

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