In 1984 Nissan established a Factory in Sunderland, North East England. In the past eight years this factory has been Europe’s most efficient car plant. Since then Nissans overall investment in the region has been approximately £2.1bn ($4.1bn).
The North East of England also boasts a wide range of specialist industrial support. This includes the NEPA programme which looks at lean automotive manufacturing; The Regional Centre for Manufacturing Excellence; The Automotive Academy; and the Automotive Centre for Excellence.
These resources are made available to businesses that are looking to set up in the region. The regional development agency, One NorthEast, have a dedicated team who help businesses from all over Europe and around the world to look at the opportunities available to business looking to relocate and take advantages of what the North East has to offer.
Located in nearby Newcastle upon Tyne is Northumbria University. The design school contributes to the industrial design of automotive products.
The level of commitment by Nissan has propelled the North East of England as one of the top places in Europe to relocate automotive businesses.
Nissans decision to move to the North east has prompted over 150 automotive companies to relocate or start up in the region and the industry now has a combined workforce of 18,000 skilled people. Companies in the car or car component industry can take advantage of the regions large and skilled workforce with great employment skills in the automotive industry.
In addition to the employable skills enjoyed in the region, the industry is also supported through the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advance practice at the University of Sunderland which is recognised worldwide as a one of the leaders in its field. Its research includes materials and structural analysis, manufacturing systems and ergonomics. There is also Durham University’s Centre for Automotive Research; here they have expertise in vehicle aerodynamics and hybrid vehicles.
So the North East of England is a region that can support new and existing businesses that are looking for expansion opportunities or relocation opportunities in the Automotive industry With a highly skilled workforce and support and collaboration available for the regions local Universities the North East has established itself as one of Europe’s prime locations for the Automotive industry.