MORE than 500 jobs could be created in the North East by a Japanese company which is capitalising on the region’s success as a centre for car manufacturing.
Vantec, which currently employs nearly 1,000 people on Wearside, yesterday said its new £22.5m warehouse and logistics centre will grow over the next five years to employ more than 1,500.
And the company, whose biggest overseas investment is at the site next to the Nissan plant in Sunderland, has won new multi-million pound car plant contracts at the logistics centre.
Akira Koyama, Vantec Corporation president, yesterday painted the second eye of a Daruma doll at Vantec Europe’s new warehouse to celebrate the successful completion of the building.
He said: “Less than 10 months ago I announced from this spot that Vantec was to begin building its largest-ever overseas project at this site. The transformation in such a short time is remarkable.
“The new warehouse is already helping Vantec Europe to secure contracts and expand its workforce by more than 300 jobs in less than a year.”
Martin Kendall, managing director of Vantec Europe, said: “We want to double the sales in the UK and I expect staff to have grown to 1,500 in the next five years.
“We will need the people as we win more contracts in the logistics area as well as warehousing, not just for the motor industry. We have become a truly European company with work across the continent.”
He said he is also looking at winning work at the Hitachi train plant at Newton Aycliffe when it starts work in three years as Hitachi is Vantec’s ultimate parent company.
And he said the company will move into the Midlands to work with other car manufacturers over the next couple of years.