Nissan announcement ‘is a significant boost for supply chain jobs’

Nissan announcement ‘is a significant boost for supply chain jobs’

THOUSANDS of jobs in the UK automotive supply chain have been given a significant boost after Nissan announced it will build two of its next-generation models in Sunderland, according to the SMMT.

A total of 28,000 supply chain jobs in the UK are currently supported by Nissan – Britain’s second-largest car manufacturer – among a wider 78,000 dependent on all British-based vehicle manufacturers.

The announcement that the next-generation Qashqai as well as the new X-Trail, currently produced in Japan, will both be made in Sunderland provides certainty and confidence to invest for existing UK-based companies, said the SMMT. It should also act as an incentive to companies not operating here already.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘Nissan’s announcement is good news for the UK automotive and supply chain jobs, confirming Britain as a leader in automotive production, with the comments made last week by the Secretary of State and Prime Minister also greatly encouraging. It is important government makes it a priority to safeguard the competitiveness of this important sector as we leave the EU. This means maintaining a competitive business environment, ensuring talent can be recruited from abroad and securing the benefits we currently enjoy in the single market – including tariff-free trade unhindered by any customs bureaucracy.’

John Barnett, vice-president of the manufacturing and supply chain for Calsonic Kansei, which supplies a variety of automotive components for car manufacturers worldwide, said: ‘We are a key supplier to Nissan in the UK and globally, with 1,400 staff in the north-east alone, so the decision to build two new models in Sunderland is excellent news. Today, a significant proportion of the components used to manufacture cars at the plant originate from us. In future, the opportunities are now there for us to win even more business.’

Mike Matthews, managing director of Stockton-on-Tees-based Nifco, a plastic component supplier to major automotive manufacturers, said: ‘This news sends a strong message that the UK is an attractive investment choice for all vehicle manufacturers. Though we supply many leading brands, 25 per cent of our total sales go to Nissan and the decision to invest in Sunderland safeguards our 650 employees. It is exciting that the new X-Trail will be manufactured here as this presents new opportunities for us to win work supplying components to make it – I am delighted.’

The news will also boost supply chain reshoring efforts to the UK, where there is an estimated £6bn opportunity for component manufacturers, said the SMMT.

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