Burning Issue: What has been the ‘Nissan effect’ on the North East?

David Coppock (pictured)

Regional director
UKTI North East

The success story of Nissan brings much more than jobs to the region. As well as the 7000 or so directly employed and an estimated further 30,000 in the supply chain, Nissan’s excellence also gives other potential investors confidence as it shows that our region has the skills and productivity to be profitable. Knowing that there are high quality automotive jobs available has led to improved opportunities for education and apprenticeships, with one provider setting up a dedicated centre of excellence for automotive engineering. Nissan’s high profile also leads to ministerial interest, particularly in innovative ideas such as electric vehicles. The sheer volume of cars produced – and the fact that they are transported across the globe – has also led to increases in transport and logistics excellence and port capacity.

Cllr Paul Watson
Leader
Sunderland City Council

We should never underestimate the importance of the ‘Nissan effect’, which has helped Sunderland and the North East become the automotive hub it is today. Nissan’s commitment to Sunderland of more than £3 billion since 1986 has underpinned further regional investment from more than 300 automotive suppliers. The sector brings high value, highly skilled jobs, directly employs 30,000 people, affects a further 141,000 jobs across the UK, and helps make our region the only one in the UK with a balance of trade surplus in manufacturing. Nissan is the heart and lifeblood of the region – and one of the UK’s greatest ever industrial success stories.

Liz Mayes
Region director – North East
EEF

The impact of Nissan on the North East is undoubtedly broad and deep. As the manufacturer’s organisation, we now see the production systems and culture that Nissan pioneered in the region in the 1980s across vast swathes of manufacturing. Whether it’s directly influenced through their local supply chain, or through the movement of Nissan staff into other businesses, the Nissan way is clearly evident. The brand has also helped rebuild the region’s confidence in manufacturing – we can lead the world from the North East. And their presence bears a huge impact on our ability to continue to attract and develop further foreign investment.

Guy Currey
Director, Invest North East England
North East Combined Authority

Out of all the UK’s inward investment wins, Nissan’s investment must be the most transformational. It has attracted a deeply embedded cluster of world-class supply chain companies to the North East, employing 30,000 people in good quality manufacturing jobs. Nissan is at the cutting edge of workforce productivity advances – being the most productive car manufacturer in the UK – and this culture is passed on through its suppliers and more widely into the regional economy as a whole. The ‘Nissan effect’ has helped drive improvements to manufacturing/engineering training infrastructure, as well as world class research and development into sectors such as electric vehicles, which continues to have a profound effect on the North East.

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Skills drive the automotive sector