Nissan has given a double boost to workers at its Sunderland factory, committing to build its next-generation Qashqai and add production of the new X-Trail model.
There had been concerns about the future of the car giant's plant in the North East after the UK leaves the European Union.
Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn went to Downing Street earlier this month for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
He said on Thursday:
"I am pleased to announce that Nissan will continue to invest in Sunderland.
"Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive
powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day."
“This is fantastic news for the UK economy, the people of the North East as well as the automotive industry and its supply chain.
“The UK automotive sector has had a remarkable year - exporting over a 1 million cars around the world and today’s announcement underlines the confidence in the sector. The fact Nissan have not only made a long-term commitment to build the next generation Qashqai and Xtrail at Sunderland, but decided to upgrade their factory to a super-plant, manufacturing over 600,000 cars a year, is proof of the strength of the sector.
“This is thanks to our highly-skilled workforce, long-term investment in new technology and innovation and the strong partnership between government and industry as we develop together our Industrial Strategy.”
The Prime Minister Theresa May has said the news of Nissan producing the next Qashqai in Sunderland and adding the production of the X-Trail is 'fantastic'.
Nissan say investment in Sunderland will continue in a move that will secure the jobs of more than 7,000 workers at the plant.
“This is fantastic news for the UK. Nissan is at the heart of this country’s strong automotive industry and so I welcome their decision to produce the Qashqai and a new model at their Sunderland plant. “It is a recognition that the Government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry so it continues to grow – now and in the future. This vote of confidence shows Britain is open for business and that we remain an outward-looking, world-leading nation. “The Government will continue to work closely with employers and investors in creating a global Britain, a country where there are new opportunities for jobs and rewarding careers. Families across the North East will be delighted at this news today and I share in their enthusiasm for what this means not just for them, but for the whole of the UK”.
It has been announced that the next Qashqai WILL be built in Sunderland - and the company will also add production of the new X-Trail model to it's Wearside base.
The history of Nissan in Sunderland
- Nissan’s Sunderland plant opened in 1986 and has produced almost 9 million cars since.
- One in three British cars are produced in Sunderland, which is the UK’s largest car plant of all time.
- In addition, 80% of production from Sunderland is exported to over 130 international markets.
- More than 2 million Qashqai’s have been built in Sunderland in less than 10 years.
- In addition to the 7,000 direct employees at Sunderland, the plant supports a further 28,000 British automotive supply chain jobs.
- To date, Nissan has invested more than £3.7 billion in Sunderland.
The new Qashqai and the next X-Trail model will be built at Sunderland's Nissan plant - securing around 7,000 jobsRead the full story ›
Nissan say they'll make a decision on the future production of their new Qashqai model as early as next month.
It comes after the company's Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told reporters in Japan that he can now "look at the future of Sunderland with more ease" following reassurances from the British government.
A report by the news agency Reuters says that Carlos Ghosn will make a decision as early as next month:
We're not asking for any advantage (from the British government), but we don't want to lose any competitiveness no matter what the discussions,"
Ghosn said he had received reassurance that the British government would be "extremely cautious" in "preserving the competitiveness" of the Sunderland plant.
"As long as I have this guarantee ... I can look at the future of Sunderland with more ease," he said.
Last week Ghosn met with the Prime Minister Theresa May after suggesting the company will halt new investment in its plant in Sunderland, unless it can agree a compensation deal with the Government.
Following the talks the Nissan Chief said he is confident the UK will remain a "competitive place to do business".
The Sunderland plant, which has been active since 1986, employs almost 7,000 people producing around 500,000 Juke, Qashqai and Leaf motors a year - about a third of the UK's total car manufacturing.
Politics Blog: The ambiguity of Theresa May's public statements are systematic of the political poker game she is attempting to playRead the full story ›
Prime Minister Theresa May says that Nissan is 'at the heart' of the British automotive industry.
The Prime Minister met Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn this afternoon at Downing Street, to discuss his demands for compensation due to the increased export costs associated with Brexit.
Theresa May said:
Our automotive industry is a great British success story and Nissan has been at the heart of it. Over the past 30 years they have had an excellent relationship with the UK Government, a track record of investment and innovation, and their Sunderland plant is one of the most productive anywhere in the world - a testament both to their company and the skill of our workforce.
We are now at the start of the complex negotiating process as Britain exits the EU and I have been clear that there will be challenges ahead. But I am confident we will achieve the best deal for Britain and the Government will engage closely with employers and investors as part of our work to create a global Britain.
This Government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry to go from strength to strength in the UK, now and into the future.
That's why I was pleased to have met with Mr Ghosn today to discuss our shared belief that Britain remains an outward-looking, world-leading nation in which to do business.
We will continue to work with Nissan as we develop the environment for competitiveness of the automotive industry here in the UK to ensure its success.
The comments from car giant Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn were made following crunch talks on Brexit with Prime Minister Theresa May.Read the full story ›
As he left Downing Street this afternoon Nissan's chief executive Carlos Ghosn refused to answer reporters' questions.
Ghosn has suggested the company will halt new investment in its plant in Sunderland unless it can agree a compensation deal with the Government for any adverse financial impact from the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU.
The boss of Nissan held talks in Downing Street with the Prime Minister over the vexed subject of Nissan's future on Wearside.