MORE than 140 new jobs are being created by a Japanese company at its North East plant, it was announced yesterday.
Automotive manufacturing company Calsonic Kansei, which is a supplier to Nissan, is investing £15.3m at its site in Sunderland to expand its range of products.
Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the news, announced during a trade mission to Japan, and which comes after Nissan announced hundreds of new jobs at its Sunderland plant.
Mr Cameron said the region was now firmly established as a centre of excellence for the motor industry.
“This new multi-million investment from Calsonic Kansei into their Sunderland plant is great news for the local economy, creating 145 new jobs in Sunderland and reflecting the city’s expertise in the automotive sector,” he said yesterday.
“It’s a vote of confidence in British manufacturing and in the skills, flexibility and commitment of the local workforce.”
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: “The investment in Calsonic Kansei is yet more good news for motor manufacturing in Sunderland, and a further endorsement of the quality of local workmanship by multinational companies.”
The Labour MP added: “I hope that the new products which are developed as a result of this investment will continue to help the company play a key role in the continuing success of the Nissan factory, and provide good quality employment and training opportunities for my constituents for years to come.”
A spokesman for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government body responsible for attracting business investment into the country, said the company was expanding its capacity to make heating and ventilator components, as well as dashboards, vehicle metres and printed circuit boards.
He added that the jobs were in addition to those being created as a result of the Nissan announcement that a new hatchback would be built at its local plant. It means another 225 jobs at the plant and 900 in its supply chain.
North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham also welcomed the news.
“The announcement of additional investment in Calsonic Kansei, which will create 145 new jobs, crowns a fantastic couple of days for the North East generally and Wearside in particular,” he said.
“The automotive component manufacturer has grown considerably in its time in the region and it is good to see that this expansion to its product range will bring such an important economic boost.
“This announcement, coupled with the Nissan news, highlights the importance of UK-Japan trade links.
“It is credit to the North East workforce that its reputation for delivery and excellence continues to attract this large-scale foreign investment.”
Councillor Paul Watson, the leader of Sunderland City Council, also hailed the announcement.
“We worked very closely with Calsonic Kansei to work up these proposals and we’re delighted to see this go ahead, creating a further 145 news jobs in Sunderland and the £15m investment that goes with it. It’s yet more good news on the jobs front for Sunderland after the recent announcements by Nissan, Vantec and SNOP.”