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Government welcomes the Nissan green Leaf to the UK

News that Nissan will produce their electric car, the LEAF, in Sunderland was welcomed by the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson

The Government is to commit £20.7 million under the Grant for Business Investment scheme for both the production of the car and the new battery plant at Sunderland. This will support total investment of over £420 million by Nissan in their UK operations.

Nissan has plans to make up to 50,000 vehicles and 60,000 batteries a year which will help to safeguard and create over 550 highly skilled jobs at the Sunderland plant.

The Business Secretary announced the government investment for Nissan as one of the company's top executives demonstrated the advanced technology of the car at the Department's offices in London.

Lord Mandelson said: "This investment is a fantastic vote of confidence in the Sunderland plant and its excellent workforce.

"The automotive sector is of key importance to the UK. It supports R&D, technological innovation, skills and a supply chain that's a mainstay of the wider manufacturing sector.

"Today's news from Nissan, with support from government, shows that by working together we can achieve our aim of making the UK a world-leader in ultra-low carbon vehicles."

Andy Palmer, senior Vice President responsible for Nissan's global electric vehicle strategy, said:
"The world is at the dawn of a new era in automotive transport. Nissan LEAF, which will go on sale later this year, is a five-seater hatchback that offers the same space, practicality and performance of a similar car in its class - minus the tailpipe emissions."

"Thanks to the UK's firm commitment to a low carbon future in terms of infrastructure, customer incentives and educational programmes, Nissan LEAF will be built at Sunderland, making the UK the third country in the world to produce this revolutionary car."

Earlier today the Government also said it is to support Ford's £1.5 billion investment in creating a new generation of environmentally friendly engines. The Government will provide £380 million in loan guarantees towards six Ford projects through its Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP).
Ford's plans will safeguard around 2.800 highly skilled jobs in the UK at its manufacturing plants in Dagenham, Southampton and Bridgend in south Wales as well as its research and development centre at Dunton in Essex.

Government support for Nissan and Ford follows last week's announcement of a 300 million Euros loan guarantee to General Motors Europe, helping to secure the company's operations in the UK at Ellesmere Port, Luton and Millbrook and the rest of Europe.


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