Sunderland car parts facility officially opened
August 26, 2021
A major employer and new supplier to Nissan has officially opened its Sunderland facility today [August 26].
Dignitaries and senior officials from Canadian headquartered firm Magna, a major supplier to Nissan in Sunderland have attended an event to mark the official opening of the company's Cherry Blossom Way site, which will employ 300 people when it is at capacity. The business provides a range of components, including major body and chassis parts, to the automotive sector.
Magna, which is headquartered in Ontario, has 347 manufacturing plants and 87 other facilities across 28 countries, employing more than 158,000 people. The company opened its base at Cherry Blossom Way in January 2020.
The Sunderland site is one of 12 UK facilities employing 2,125 people, with the Sunderland site servicing Nissan, supplying exterior trim parts for the third generation Qashqai. The facility houses a robotic assembly line, and Magna has also introduced its new proprietary technology to Sunderland, producing a fully assembled thermo-plastic liftgate, a lightweight alternative to steel. This technology contributes to key industry goals, in relation to light-weighting and thereby to increasing fuel efficiency and making cars greener and more sustainable, something that aligns with Sunderland's low carbon ambitions. The company is also targeting continued growth through painted exterior parts like fascia systems, claddings, door sills, running boards and roof rails.
Tony Park, Group General Manager Magna Exteriors UK, said: "We're thrilled to celebrate the opening of our facility which has established itself as a key UK site, and critical in supporting our work with Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK.
"We've been delighted with the speed at which we have been able to appoint a skilled team to get up to capacity, and our ambition is that this facility keeps growing as we continue to service Nissan and our customers across the UK to the highest possible standard."
Since first establishing in the city, Magna has been able to recruit 280 people, with many more roles to fill in the future as customer demand increases. The company also has ambitions to build upon work around electrification, which in time could create further opportunities for growth, creating further jobs in the process.
Magna is one of more than 80 international companies that has chosen to make Sunderland home, and part of a growing cluster of advanced manufacturing businesses in the city, with developments including the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Hillthorn Park advancing in Sunderland, the city expects to welcome yet more automotive and advanced manufacturing firms to its impressive roster.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, attended the official opening event to meet with leaders from the company.
He said: "Sunderland is at the beating heart of Europe's automotive sector, and at the forefront of the electric revolution in advanced manufacturing. Nissan's success has generated many thousands of jobs in the region, and Magna's move to the city is a fantastic example of Sunderland's ability to support successful local supply chains, thanks to its exceptional people, great connectivity and collaborative advanced manufacturing cluster.
"It's exciting to celebrate the opening of Magna's facility here, an occasion that augments the fantastic advanced manufacturing base we have in this city, and celebrates the talented local people who have played a part in ensuring this facility's success."
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