Tag Archive | "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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Another New Nissan to Sunderland in 2014


During a trade visit to Japan this month David Cameron and Nissan Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, announced at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan that a brand new medium sized hatchback will be produced at the Sunderland plant from 2014. This follows the announcement at last month’s Geneva Motor Show that Sunderland will also produce a mainstream B-segment compact car based on the INVITATION concept from next year (pictured right).

The new medium hatchback announced today will create an additional 225 jobs at Nissan and 900 at component companies supplying Nissan in the UK. Combined, both models will result in more than 3,000 new jobs being created in the UK automotive sector within the next two years – 625 at Nissan and the remainder across the supply base. Once recruitment for both models is complete, the Sunderland Plant workforce will stand at a record 6,225 supporting an overall annual plant volume of more than half a million units. This will make the factory the UK’s biggest car maker. This is as a result of a major project investment by Nissan of £127m in its Sunderland Plant, supplemented by an £8.2m offer of support from UK Government Regional Growth Fund. More details about the new hatchback including pricing, engine line-up and equipment levels will be released closer to the car’s sales launch.

The as yet un-named hatchback will mark Nissan’s return to the mainstream medium sector segment and confirms their continued expansion under their ‘Power 88’ scheme, a wide-ranging, six-year business plan that will accelerate the company’s growth across new markets and segments. The plan is for the fiscal years 2011 to 2016. Production for the new car will be around 80,000 units, which will require the introduction of another shift involving around-the-clock operation for the first time in the plant’s history.

Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff overall. The company now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand on the continent. This latest move marks an unprecedented period of investment in the Sunderland plant which includes the building of the highly successful Qashqai ‘crossover’ and the all-electric LEAF model. A major recruitment campaign is now taking place. Roles immediately available include engineering, maintenance and production supervisor positions. Following long periods of recession hit misery in the North East the good people of Sunderland and the surrounding area must be over the moon at this success story.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==