Nissan will provide a significant boost for Sunderland on Friday, with a committment to producing electric versions of two of its best selling models in the city.
The Japanese carmaker will reveal plans to build its new electric Qashqai and Juke models at its giant plant in the northern city, following months of talks with government.
Sources cited by Sky News’ Mark Kleinmann said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will play a key role in the announcement, which will help preserve 6,000 jobs in the region.
The investment is reported to be in the region of £1bn, backed by contributions from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). Nissan began producing electric versions of its Juke and Qashqai models in the North East of England last year.
It comes after the government unveiled an additional £2bn in funding for the ATF in yesterday’s Autumn Statement, as part of a pledge to help the automotive sector transition to greener fleets.
The announcement would be a significant vote of confidence from the carmaker, who has at points questioned its commitment to the UK amid post-Brexit uncertainty.
So-called rules of origin tariffs on electric vehicles traded between the European Union and UK are due to come into force at the turn of the year, placing automakers under significant pressure with a requirement to source 45 per cent of each car’s components from within the continent.
The car-making giant announced in 2022 it would close one of the plants at its vast Sunderland site, which was responsible for producing cylinder heads for Renault.
The Sunderland factory currently employs 6,000 people, the lionshare of its British workforce. Nissan is also the UK’s sole carmaker with a dedicated gigafactory, owned by the Chinese group AESC.
A spokesperson for Nissan said: “We do not comment on rumours and speculation.”
By City AM
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