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Infiniti Comes To Sunderland

Infiniti Comes To Sunderland

If anyone fancies a job in the car industry it looks like it would be a good idea to move to Sunderland. Car giant Nissan, already well established in the city and providing some 6000 jobs, have announced they are to build yet another car there – this time it’s a global luxury model under the Infiniti brand. To accommodate this a further 280 jobs are to be created at this successful plant. As a result an additional 700 or so are expected to be added to ancillary sites around the UK.

The problem is that this £250 million expansion has highlighted the lack of capacity in Sunderland which means that, as things stand right now, a planned ‘C-Sector’ hatchback that was due to be made at the plant will now be built elsewhere. The Infiniti model is expected in 2015.

In a country sadly losing its manufacturing heritage this good-news story shows that we can still do it if we try when given the opportunity. Nissan has only be active in the Britain – in manufacturing terms -  since 1986. Now Sunderland is not only the largest car plant in the country, it is also the most productive in Europe. That’s a great achievement. Obviously the Japanese work ethic has rubbed off.

This involves three philosophies. Kaisen means ‘continuous improvement’ in Japanese. Kaisen teams are used throughout the factory and address any aspect of any job to ensure it is in the best interest of the worker in terms of efficiency. It works and also helps to eliminate H&S issues and injuries.

‘Just in Time’ encourages the minimum use of resources required to achieve maximum value and a job rotation scheme ensures that all workers can do three different jobs within the factory. This helps to eradicate boredom amongst the staff and ensures cover for sickness and the like. The Coalition’s Business Secretary is taking a strong interest  as well he might. Maybe he could carry over some of these philosophies into government!

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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One Response to “Infiniti Comes To Sunderland”

  1. Nice article and thanks for sharing your knowledge. I really
    appropriate your views.

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