Nissan cuts jobs

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is to cut its British workforce by 1,200 in an attempt to mitigate losses caused by the economic downturn.


Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is to cut its British workforce by 1,200 people in an attempt to mitigate losses caused by the current economic climate.


The redundancies will be made at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, which employs around 5,000 people and manufacturers more cars than any other site in the UK. This figure includes 400 staff on temporary contracts that will not be renewed beyond January.


Nissan believes the dramatic decline in customer demand is set to continue into 2009 and has adjusted its operations in line with the weakening market. The announcement is yet another blow to the UK’s struggling automotive industry, with new registrations falling 21.2 per cent in December and 11.3 per cent for the year.


Trevor Mann, Nissan senior vice president for manufacturing, Europe, said: ‘Like all manufacturers, the Sunderland plant is currently operating in extraordinary circumstances not of our making. It is essential we take the right action now to ensure we are in a strong and viable position once business conditions return to normal.’


Responding to the Nissan’s statement, Lord Mandelson said: ‘I appreciate that this will be a tough time for workers. Together with One NorthEast, we will help any employee find alternative opportunities as quickly as possible.


‘We will also be working with Nissan to secure new investment for Sunderland and to make sure that the UK is best placed for the upturn and re-creation of jobs as the economy improves. This is a highly-skilled workforce that has the expertise that UK and worldwide industry will need as conditions globally improve.’

Despite Mandelson’s assurances to help the region out of current difficulties, Nissan’s cutbacks are expected to have a knock-on effect on its local suppliers.


Sunderland-based Unipres, a supplier of pressed parts for Nissan’s Wearside factory, has announced plans to cut almost 100 staff. Unite spokesperson, Brian Cole, said that Unipres had been adversely affected by a lack of communication with Nissan and expects this trend to continue in the rest of Nissan’s supply chain.