Jobs pledge after Nissan sells off Sunderland battery operation

Nissan has sold off its electric battery making operations in Sunderland.
Nissan has sold off its electric battery making operations in Sunderland.

Car giant Nissan today pledged that 300 jobs will not be affected by the sale of its Sunderland battery-making operation.

The motoring company today announced that it has entered into a definitive sale and purchase agreement with GSR Capital (GSR), a private investment fund, for the sale of Nissan’s

electric battery operations and production facilities to GSR.

The move is believed to allow Nissan to concentrate on making cars while a company statement today says that workers whose jobs are to be transferred will "continue to be employed".

The sale and purchase agreement covers Nissan’s battery subsidiary, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), as well as battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee,

owned by Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), and in Sunderland, owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (NMUK), where 300 people are employed.

Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer of Nissan, said: “This is a win-win for AESC and Nissan.

"It enables AESC to utilize GSR’s wide networks and proactive investment to expand its customer base and further increase its competitiveness.

"In turn, this will further enhance Nissan’s EV competitiveness. AESC will remain a very important partner for Nissan as we deepen our focus on designing and producing market-leading

electric vehicles.”

Sonny Wu, chairman of GSR Capital, added: “The acquisition of AESC represents an important step for us in the new energy vehicle industry chain.

"We plan to further invest in R&D, expand existing production capacity in the US, UK and Japan, and also establish new facilities in China and Europe, enabling us to better serve

customers around the world.

"With these capabilities and plans added to the battery business’ already skilled workforce, high technical capabilities and proven product-quality track record, we will be in a very good

position for growth.”

A statement today says the workforce at all facilities covered by the deal, including the production plants at Zama, Sunderland and Smyrna, will continue to be employed.

The value of the deal is undisclosed.

Responding to the sale, Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said:

“At a time when demand for electric batteries is set to take off, any move which appears to secure local jobs in the industry must be cautiously welcomed.

“I understand around 300 employees in Sunderland will be affected by this sale and a consultation has begun to transfer their employment to the new company under TUPE regulations.”