Nissan supplier opens new factory in Sunderland to serve as ‘beating heart for Europe’


NISSAN supplier Magna has officially opened its new multi-million-pound factory in Sunderland which will employ 300 people when it is at full capacity.

The Canadian-owned firm has 347 manufacturing plants and 87 other facilities across 28 countries – 12 of them are in the UK employing 2,125 Britons. Magna provides a range of components, including major body and chassis parts, to the automotive sector. It will produce exterior trim parts of Nissan’s third-generation Qashqai car at the facility which houses a robotic assembly line.

Incredible footage, captured by MTDMFG, shows how Magna has introduced its new proprietary technology to Sunderland, producing a fully assembled thermo-plastic liftgate, a lightweight alternative to steel.

This technology contributes to key industry goals, in relation to making cars lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The company is also targeting continued growth through painted exterior parts such as fascia systems, claddings, door sills, running boards and roof rails.

Group General Manager Tony Park said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of our facility which has established itself as a key UK site, and critical in supporting our work with Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK.

“We’ve been delighted with the speed at which we have been able to appoint a skilled team to get up to capacity, and our ambition is that this facility keeps growing as we continue to service Nissan and our customers across the UK to the highest possible standard.”

The company also has ambitions to work around electrification, which could bring more jobs to Brexit Britain.

City council leader Graeme Miller said: “Sunderland is at the beating heart of Europe’s automotive sector.

“Nissan’s success has generated many thousands of jobs in the region, and Magna’s move to the city is a fantastic example of Sunderland’s ability to support successful local supply chains, thanks to its exceptional people, great connectivity and collaborative advanced manufacturing cluster.”

It comes after Nissan announced a major expansion of battery production in Sunderland creating thousands of new jobs both directly and in the supply chain.

The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1bn investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain.

And Nissan’s partner, Envision AESC, will build an electric battery plant.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it a “pivotal moment”

Of the £1billion investment, Nissan said it would invest up to £423m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, building on the success of its existing electric car, the Leaf.

Production of the new model will create 909 new jobs and more than 4,500 in its UK supply chain.

Envision’s new gigafactory will eventually provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year. It will create 750 new jobs and secure 300 existing roles.

It is hoped the new plant will operate in time for 2024, when the level of UK-made components in cars manufactured in the UK is required to start increasing, in line with the terms of the UK’s trade deal with the EU.

The majority of Nissan’s Sunderland-assembled cars are sold in the EU.