Rishi Sunak hails Nissan's £1bn investment at Sunderland factory

Rishi Sunak hails Nissan’s plans to boost electric car production in Britain with £1bn investment at Sunderland factory

  • Nissan confirmed it will make its electric Qashqai and Juke models in Sunderland
  • The investment secures 7,000 workers’ jobs, plus 30,000 supply chain roles

Rishi Sunak yesterday hailed Nissan’s decision to invest more than £1billion to build electric cars in Sunderland as a ‘massive vote of confidence’ in Britain.

The Japanese carmaker confirmed it will make its latest electric Qashqai and Juke models at its factory in the North East alongside the next generation of the electric Leaf, which is already produced there.

Nissan said a battery ‘gigafactory’ will also be built, taking the total planned investment to £2 billion.

The investment secures the jobs of 7,000 workers, as well as supporting a further 30,000 roles in the supply chain.

Mr Sunak said: ‘Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry, which already contributes a massive £71 billion a year to our economy.’

Rishi Sunak, right, and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt attach a Nissan badge to a car as they visit the car manufacturer’s plant in Sunderland

Rishi Sunak yesterday hailed Nissan’s decision to invest more than £1billion to build electric cars in Sunderland as a ‘massive vote of confidence’ in Britain

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt hears from Nissan workers as he tours the car manufacturing plant in Sunderland

The Government has confirmed Nissan will produce two new electric vehicle models at its Sunderland plant, supporting thousands of jobs in the UK


The Prime Minister added: ‘This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.’ Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s chief executive, said the investment puts ‘our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision’.

The group plans to sell only electric cars in Europe from 2030.

The investment also confounds Brexit naysayers who warned that Britain’s car industry would be hit hard and never recover after the UK left the European Union

After the 2016 vote to leave the EU, many Remainers flagged concerns about the future of Britain as a major car producer. However, Nissan has continued to invest in vehicle manufacturing in Britain.

Dr Andy Palmer, a former chief of Nissan and Aston Martin, said the move from Nissan was ‘only good news for the UK’.

Mike Hawes, of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, called the Nissan investment ‘tremendous news’ that ‘underlines Britain’s position as a competitive location for electric vehicle production’.

The gigafactory is being set up in with Nissan’s battery supplier AESC – owned by Envision – at an estimated total cost of £1billion. The local supply of batteries will help Nissan avoid costly post-Brexit ‘rule of origin’ trade tariffs that are pending. These could push up the cost of exporting electric vehicles to the EU.

Under the regulations, tariffs of 10 per cent would be imposed on exports of electric cars between the UK and EU if at least 45 per cent of their value does not originate domestically

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