Planning for quality and productivity A Nissan case study
Page 1: Why locate in Sunderland?
One key decision with a car plant is where to locate it. For its UK factory, Nissan chose in 1984 a 300 hectare former airfield near Sunderland. Sunderland's attractions included:
a) Skilled labour force
Manufacturing has a long tradition in the area. A decline in other local manufacturing meant that skilled labour was readily available.
Sunderland has good road and rail links to all major UK areas. This makes it relatively easy to bring in supplies from 105 separate UK component and sub-assembly suppliers, and also to distribute completed vehicles. A nearby deep water port (Port of Tyne) gives ready access to export markets and for the import of vehicles to the UK.
c) Government support
The government provided financial and other incentives to manufacturers who set up in an area where employment opportunities had reduced sharply and new jobs were needed.
Since 1984, Nissan has increased the scale of its Sunderland operation; almost 3.5 million cars have already been made.