A MAJOR employer and new supplier to Nissan has officially opened its Sunderland facility.

Dignitaries and senior officials from Canadian firm Magna attended an event to mark the official opening of the company’s Cherry Blossom Way site, which will employ 280 people when it is at capacity. The business provides a range of components, including major body and chassis parts, to the automotive sector.

Magna, which is headquartered in Ontario, has 347 manufacturing plants and 87 other facilities across 28 countries, employing more than 158,000 people. The company opened its base here in January 2020.

The Sunderland site is one of 12 UK facilities employing 2,125 people, with the Sunderland site servicing Nissan, supplying exterior trim parts for the Qashqai.

The facility houses a robotic assembly line, and Magna has also introduced its new technology to Sunderland, producing a fully assembled thermo-plastic liftgate, a lightweight alternative to steel.

Tony Park, Group General Manager Magna Exteriors UK, said: “We’ve been delighted with the speed at which we have been able to appoint a skilled team to get up to capacity.

"Our ambition is that this facility keeps growing as we continue to service Nissan and our customers across the UK."