Nissan Suspends Car Production at Sunderland
Production at the Nissan car factory in Sunderland – the biggest in the UK – has been suspended because of the coronavirus. The plant, which employs 7,000 people, makes the popular Qashqai, Juke and electric LEAF modecarmakerapanese car maker said it had seen a drop in demand as well as problems getting parts from China.
The site, which has been open since 1986, made almost 350,000 of Britain’s 1.3m cars last year.
It is not clear how long the halt in production will last, but for the moment staff will continue to be paid, the company said.
A statement added: “Vehicle production has been suspended today in Nissan Sunderland plant.
“Further measures are currently under study as we assess supply chain disruption and the sudden drop in market demand caused by the Covid-19 emergency.”
Washington and Sunderland West Labour MP Sharon Hodgson said she would be urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action to secure the plant’s future.
She said: “The news that Nissan UK has decided to suspend production at the plant in my constituency is extremely concerning and shows just how much of an impact coronavirus is having on our country.
“I will be writing to the Prime Minister, urging him to take further action to safeguard industries and businesses that are already suffering as a result of the virus.
“Forty thousand people in and around my constituency rely on the plant for their livelihoods and I will do everything I can to secure them.”
Earlier this month Nissan said it was investing more than £50m in a new press at the plant as it prepared to build a new version of the Qashqai.
Ford and Volkswagen have also announced plans to shut plants in continental Europe, while the French group PSA and Fiat Chrysler both announced shutdowns on Monday.