NISSAN’s latest multi-million- pound investment in its Wearside plant is a vote of confidence in the North East, the CBI’s regional head said yesterday.
The company is to build a new luxury car at Sunderland, creating 1,000 jobs at the plant and in its supply chain with a £250m investment.
It will be developed with help from Nissan’s design centre in London and technical centre in Cranfield and then exported around the world, the firm said.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement, as did Business Secretary Vince Cable, who visited the plant yesterday.
Sarah Green, regional director, CBI North East, said: “Confidence is critical to growth in the North East. And Nissan’s announcement yesterday about its exciting plans for its Sunderland plant demonstrates that this region has much to be confident about.
“As Colin Dodge, the former vice- president for Nissan in Sunderland and now the firm’s chief performance officer based in Japan, stated during his live video broadcast to the workforce, ‘Nissan trusts Sunderland, Nissan trusts you’.
“The Infiniti is not just another new model but represents and requires a step change in the Nissan Sunderland approach.
“The Wearside facility was chosen due to its ability to manage quality and cost. However, to be ready to manufacture a premium range car in 2015 the plant will have to raise its game even further on quality and integrate direct customer interaction via dealerships with the shopfloor.
“This is Nissan’s Christmas present to the North East. Some 270 new jobs on the line is great news but significantly more manufacturers across the region will benefit from Nissan’s continued introduction of global best practice and leading-edge thinking as it seeps into the supply chain and out into the wider manufacturing community, supporting long-term global competitiveness.
“Furthermore, this announcement is a vote of confidence in the region and our ability to deliver.
“We can compete globally, we can make premium products and export these around the world, we can match and challenge Japanese exacting manufacturing standards. We need to believe in ourselves and sell this ability externally.
“I personally would like to thank the staff and management at Nissan Sunderland for their hard work, engineering excellence, dogged determination, leadership and pride, which has helped create a more prosperous new year for many in the North East.”