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Sunderland-based car maker wants more workers after moving plant to 24-hour operations
A CAR maker wants hundreds of North-East workers after starting full 24-hour production for the first time.
Nissan, in Sunderland, says its second production line, which makes thousands of Juke, Nismo, and the new Note models every year, will work through the night.
Bosses want 400 workers to support the expansion, which will start early next year.
The move will take Japanese firm's North-East workforce to more than 6,500 people.
The company has run a 24-hour sister production line since 2010, which makes the popular Qashqai model and more recently the ground-breaking all-electric Leaf.
However, under the new plans, the whole plant will operate 24 hours a day, with increased demand forcing more work across its engine assembly, castings, and axle divisions, and its battery factory, which powers the Leaf.
Last month, Nissan created 400 new jobs when it started £125m work on the new Note hatchback, and the firm's senior boss, Toshiyuki Shiga, has fuelled hopes of more posts after hinting another model could be made at Sunderland.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice-president for UK manufacturing, said: “A third shift on the second production line and 24-hour production across the Sunderland factory is a major milestone, not only for our plant but for the UK car industry.
“It is the result of years of hard work and consistently high performances by our North-East workforce.”
Bosses say the expansion reflects the factory's standing with senior figures, who chose it ahead of global rivals to make up to 100,000 Notes every year to compete on the forecourts against the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta.
The North-East plant was also picked ahead of other Nissan factories for a £420m investment to make the Leaf and will be extended by 25,000sq metres to be the first in Europe to manufacture the Infiniti, Nissan's sister brand, which competes against Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes.
The move is part of a £250m investment to create about 280 jobs and hundreds in the supply chain. Production will start in 2015, with Infiniti the first new car brand to be made in the UK on such a scale in 23 years.
Nissan hasn't revealed how many vehicles it plans to build, but chief executive Carlos Ghosn has voiced ambitions to sell 100,000 in Europe by 2016.
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