Car-making giant Nissan is to close one of the plants at its vast Sunderland site.

The casting operation produced cylinder heads for Renault, but the end of that sole contract means there is now no more work there and the company has decided to close the operation by early 2024.

All 250 jobs are safe, with staff being offered other roles at the site.

A company spokesperson said: ​"“From early 2024, Nissan Sunderland Plant will cease production of cylinder heads on site.

“We do not expect this to result in job losses, and are working with staff as we redeploy them to other parts of the business.”

Sharon Hodgson, the Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: ​“I have met with Nissan to discuss their announcement that they will be closing their casting operation at end of 2023, after their contract with Renault was not renewed.

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The Northern Echo: Sharon Hodgson MP Sharon Hodgson MP

"It is concerning that Nissan will be losing this operation, especially for the 250 workers, but Nissan have assured me that there will be no job losses as all staff will be redeployed within Nissan.

"I will also meet with Unite officials as soon as can be arranged."

This part of the manufacturing operation is one of Nissan's longest-running in the UK, with more than 30 years of work, but the company has recently committed itself to Sunderland and signalled a big shift away from combustion engines to electric vehicles.

Towards the end of last year, Nissan bosses said its North East plant will 'take the lead' as they announced plans to spend more than £13 billion globally on developing electric vehicles as the manufacturer revealed it will develop 23 new electric models by 2030.

The Northern Echo: Workers at Nissan in SunderlandWorkers at Nissan in Sunderland

By that time, the firm aims for half of its global output to be made up of electric vehicles.

Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta stressed the importance of the Sunderland plant for the firm’s plans, saying: "In Europe, Sunderland is the one which will take the lead towards electrification.  Sunderland is the leader, in collaboration with the government, suppliers, dealers and most importantly, our employees."

He said it was not only leading in electric vehicle production, but also battery manufacture and locally-produced green power with its EV36zero build hub.

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central, added: It’s disappointing that the casting plant has not been awarded the new contract with Renault. Relieved to say Nissan have given me their assurances that the jobs will not be lost but transferred within Nissan."


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