Nissan's Christmas Present for Region

Article excerpt

Byline: ECONOMY Iain Laing ? 0191 201 6429 ? iain.laing@ncjmedia.co.uk

NISSAN's latest multi-millionpound 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 PS250m 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 vicepresident 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. …