Nissan announces £2 billion plan for its Sunderland plant in the UK

Japanese automotive giant Nissan has announced a transformative £2 billion plan for its Sunderland plant in the UK.

According to Nissan, £1.12 billion will go towards the manufacturing of electric versions of the Qashqai and Juke models, with the remainder allocated to developing additional infrastructure and a new battery production facility.

The company said in a news release: “The additional two models, alongside an additional gigafactory and further investment for infrastructure projects, will result in an investment of up to £2bn. It means Nissan’s plans for the future electric versions of Qashqai, JUKE, and the replacement for LEAF, will enable up to a £3bn investment in the UK.”

Investment Details and Expanded Scope

The total investment includes the establishment of a third gigafactory for battery production, building upon Nissan’s partnership with Envision AESC.

Envision AESC chairman Lei Zhang was quoted by Yahoo as saying that “in order to meet increasing battery demand from Nissan” the firm had “embarked on a strategic feasibility study focused on the potential expansion of our gigafactory operations in Sunderland”.

This expansion is part of a broader £3 billion investment strategy by Nissan and its partners in the UK for electric cars and battery manufacturing. The UK government is expected to also provide financial support, though full financial details are not fully disclosed.

‘Massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry’

Nissan’s investment is poised to reinforce the UK’s position as a strategic hub for EV production.

The initiative is expected to safeguard 7,000 jobs at the Sunderland plant and support an additional 30,000 in the supply chain. It also signals confidence in the UK as a key player in the global EV market and reinforces the strategic importance of Nissan’s operations in the UK, which have been integral since 1986.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has lauded the investment as a substantial endorsement of the UK’s automotive sector, which contributes £71 billion annually to the economy.

“Nissan’s investment is a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive industry,” Sunak said.

He added: “This venture will no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt commented: “Nissan has a proud history in car manufacturing in Sunderland, and their continued commitment to the UK shows how our support for business is getting results – helping create thousands of jobs and solidifying Britain’s place as the world’s eighth-largest manufacturer.”