Nissan electric car protects more than 2,000 jobs in North East

Nissan has secured more than 2,000 jobs in the North East by confirming it will build its new electric car at its Sunderland plant.

The Leaf car will be built in Sunderland from 2013.

Paul Wilcox, managing director of Nissan in the UK, said: “It’s a significant vote of confidence for Sunderland.”

Wilcox said the decision would secure 600 jobs within the factory, which will also make the vehicle’s lithium-ion batteries. About 2,250 jobs will also be secured across the whole supply chain, the Times reported.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson added: “This investment is a fantastic vote of confidence in the Sunderland plant and its excellent workforce.”

The decision to build the Leaf comes after the car company said that it would cut 1,200 workers at the plant last year as it struggled to cope with a downturn of sales.

Meanwhile, 2,800 skilled jobs at Ford plants in Dagenham, Southampton and Bridgend will be protected after the car company revealed it would build the next generation of cleaner diesel and petrol engines for its cars there, and the Formula One team McLaren will build supercars in Woking.

The move by the three companies means £2.6bn worth of investment has been injected into the UK car manufacturing industry.

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