Nissan 'expected to confirm' new battery plant creating 2,000 jobs within days

Car manufacturing giant Nissan is expected to announce plans to launch a new battery gigafactory next to its Wearside plant within days, reports have said.

The battery plant could create 2,000 jobs and support thousands more if it is unveiled as a new addition to its operations here in the North East, it is understood.

PA has reported the UK’s biggest car manufacturer is “expected to confirm the announcement” later this week.

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The BBC has also reported that the Government was contributing towards the cost of setting up the battery plant on Wearside, where Nissan’s electric vehicles are already made, as has the Financial Times.

Nissan's Sunderland factory could be welcoming a battery plant next to its site, according to reports.
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The manufacturer would not confirm the reports today, Monday, June 28, when contacted by PA, with the Sunderland Echo also seeking further details from the firm.

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A Nissan spokesman has previously said: “Having established EV and battery production in the UK in 2013 for the Nissan Leaf, our Sunderland plant has played a pioneering role in developing the electric vehicle market.

“As previously announced, we will continue to electrify our line-up as part of our global journey towards carbon neutrality, however we have no further plans to announce at this time.”

It was not clear how many jobs would be created if the gigafactory was built in Sunderland, however, according to the BBC report it could create 2,000 new jobs directly, and thousands more indirectly.

Just days ago, the company furloughed hundreds of workers at the factory due to an outbreak of Covid, having previously used the Government scheme due to a global shortage of parts.

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This has included a £52 million second extra-large press line and scrap recycling system, called the Cyclone, which allows the Qashqai to become the plant’s first model to be built largely from aluminium.

The programme has also included the addition of 117 new robots at the site’s bodyshop.

That investment came on top of the £100 million pledge for the launch of new Juke, and is part of an overall £1 billion planned investment into the plant by Nissan over five years.

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