Nissan decision safeguards 28,000 jobs

Nearly 30,000 jobs in the UK automotive supply chain have been secured by the announcement that Nissan will build two of its next generation models in Sunderland.

The manufacturer supports 28,000 of the 78,000 UK supply chain jobs that are dependent on all British-based vehicle manufacturers.

John Barnett, VP manufacturing and supply chain for Calsonic Kansei, which supplies a variety of automotive components for car manufacturers worldwide, said, ‘We are a key supplier to Nissan in the UK and globally, with 1,400 staff in the north east alone, so the decision to build two new models in Sunderland is excellent news. A significant proportion of the components used to manufacture cars at the plant originate from us. In future, the opportunities are now there for us to win even more business. It means we can look at reshoring some of our own supply chain back to the UK and gives confidence to global suppliers that the UK is still a good place to invest.

Mike Matthews, managing director of Stockton-on-Tees-based Nifco, a plastic component supplier to major automotive manufacturers, added, ‘This news sends a strong message that the UK is an attractive investment choice for all vehicle manufacturers. Though we supply many leading brands, 25% of our total sales go to Nissan and the decision to invest in Sunderland safeguards our 650 employees. It is exciting that the new X-Trail will be manufactured here as this presents new opportunities for us to win work supplying components to make it – I am delighted.’

The news will also boost supply chain reshoring efforts to the UK, where there is an estimated £6bn opportunity for component manufacturers as British-based vehicle makers increasingly look closer to home to pursue manufacturing efficiencies.

Billions of pounds have already been invested in domestic supply chain networks to fulfil just-in-time production needs and cut the cost of logistics. This trend is having an impact, with the content of British-built cars rising from 36% to 41% over the past five years.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Nissan’s announcement is good news for the UK automotive and supply chain jobs, confirming Britain as a leader in automotive production, with the comments made last week by the Secretary of State and Prime Minister also greatly encouraging.’