Nissan Plans to Build Electric Cars in Sunderland

The carmaker wants to invest a billion pounds in the Brexit stronghold and create 1,600 new jobs. Some of the money comes from the UK taxpayer.

Sunderland The Japanese car maker Nissan wants to invest heavily in its plant in Sunderland, England, despite Brexits. A new electric car is to be produced there in the future, as the company announced on Thursday. A completely new plant for batteries from Nissan partner Envision AESC is also to be built in the north-east English city. Overall, Nissan wants to invest a billion pounds (1.16 billion euros) and create 1,600 new jobs.

However, some of the money comes from the UK taxpayer. Nissan and the government in London did not want to reveal how much subsidies are flowing. Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng only said that it was a “considerable sum”. For the government in London, maintaining Nissan production in the Brexit stronghold of Sunderland is an important prestige project.

The British automotive industry has suffered massively in recent years from Brexit, the pandemic and falling demand for diesel vehicles. The number of cars built in the country has recently increased again, but production is still well below the level of five years ago.

The British automotive industry is heavily dependent on exports. More than 80 percent of the cars manufactured in the country go abroad, over half of them to the EU.