Sunderland MPs welcome Nissan decision to make two car models in city

Three Sunderland MPs have welcomed Nissan’s decision to make new Qashqai and X-Trail models in the city.

Bridget Phillipson, Julie Elliot and Sharon Hodgson all welcomed today’s (October 27) announcement by the car manufacturer that it will produce the next Qashqai and will add production of the next X-Trail model at its Sunderland, UK Plant.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson said:

“I am delighted by the fantastic news that Nissan have decided to produce the next Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland plant, securing the future of more than 7,000 jobs.

“I pay tribute to the workforce, whose role in making the Sunderland plant amongst the most productive in Europe no doubt contributed to this welcome outcome.

“Nissan have been clear that this decision follows the UK government’s commitment to ensure that the Sunderland plant remains competitive, but have not indicated exactly what guarantees the Prime Minister has offered to protect the company from the impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, and potentially the single market as well.”

On October 25, 2016, Bridget contributed to a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament on the future of North East exports following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

During her speech, she pressed the Government to ensure that North East small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in the supply chain were included in any protection offered to the automotive sector to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

Bridget Phillipson MP added: “It is imperative that the government also offers protection to the small and medium sized businesses in the Nissan supply chain and the wider manufacturing sector in the north east and beyond.”

Nissan is based in the Washington and Sunderland West constituency, which Sharon Hodgson is the MP of.

Sharon Hodgson MP said: “The announcement today shows that not only have Nissan got confidence to continue investing in our region but most importantly, reinforces Nissan’s continued faith in the skilled and highly capable workforce based at the plant.

“Nearly 80 per cent of the cars rolling off the production line in Sunderland are exported across the globe.

“The talent and skill of Sunderland’s workforce is showcased across the world and puts Sunderland very squarely on the map as somewhere for businesses to come and invest.

“Nissan is such a vital contributor to our regional economy but also our national economy, along with supporting such a large workforce totalling over 48,000 employees by Nissan directly and in the supply chain.

“This news should be welcomed by all and is a moment for the North East to celebrate some good news for our region’s much-needed economic growth and job creation.”

However, the MP for Washington and Sunderland West did warn that the news should not be “squandered by jeopardising it with an unclear Brexit strategy.”

The MP added: “Clarity is still very much needed on what will happen to our automotive industry as we continue down the path of exiting the European Union.”

Julie Elliot, MP for Sunderland Central said on Twitter:

Nissan’s commitment to the UK’s biggest car plant had been in doubt following the EU Referendum on June 23rd.

The announcement comes as economic growth, in the three months after the vote, grew by 0.5 per cent.

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