Sunderland Nissan plant ‘helping transform UK car industry’

Nissan maintenance technician Chris Grindley
Nissan maintenance technician Chris Grindley
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SUNDERLAND’S Nissan plant has played a critical role in transforming the British car industry, says a new report by a leading industry expert.

Cardiff University’s Prof Garel Rhys unveiled his report, commissioned by MAKE it Sunderland, at a reception at the House of Lords yesterday.

It shows how Nissan and Jaguar Landrover have changed the industry, with car making and components manufacture moving to new locations in the North East, East Midlands, West of England and Wales.

“Britain has established a new type of sustainable motor industry,” said Prof Rhys. “To survive, the UK plants have become export-led par excellence.

“In comparison to the record production year of 1972, it now consists of new players: Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW, VW, and Paccar, Shanghai, Proton, Geely. Daimler-Benz has a toehold via Aston Martin. Only GM, Morgan and Dennis survive from 1972 in vehicle manufacture. The number of cars made in the Sunderland plant since 2009 has been nothing short of remarkable in the annals of car- making in the UK.”

Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover produced 951,000 cars last year.

Colin Lawther, Nissan’s senior vice-president for manufacturing in the UK, said: “Nissan is very proud to be the UK’s biggest ever car factory and to be the only plant to support 500,000 annual production.”