Nissan’s plans for its Sunderland plant are making headlines around the world – and now the business editor of The Times has added his praise for the developments.
Writing in his opinion column in today’s Times, Ian King praises Nissan for its plans to build a new C-segment car in Sunderland and for taking on more staff.
The column said: ‘Nissan is playing a blinder. As ministers urge industry to create more jobs, the carmaker is doing just that. Launching a small city car along with a promised new mid-sized hatchback, on top of the electric Leaf, will take Nissan’s UK workforce to nearly 6,500 in a couple of years. That will secure thousands more jobs in the supply chain.
‘But Nissan is also playing a canny game. Launching a new mid-sized hatchback from its Sunderland factory in 2014 seems increasingly likely to coincide with the closure of the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, home of the Astra, owned by General Motors. If GM abandons Ellesmere Port, there will be ramifications for consumer perceptions of Vauxhall, Britain’s second-bestselling marque and still GM’s fourth-biggest market.
‘Conversely, Nissan’s UK market share is still growing, notably with the Qashqai, an affordable 4×4, whose name remained a mystery to most car buyers even five years ago. Within a couple of years, those who like to think they are buying British may be turning not to Vauxhall, but to Nissan.’