North East Connected

Exhibition celebrates 30-year history of Nissan

Cllr Mel Spedding and Kevin FitzpatrickNISSAN’S thirty years in Sunderland are being celebrated at an exhibition that opens its doors this week.

The plant, which is marking three decades of automotive manufacturing in Sunderland, is running a special exhibition charting the history of the Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK) plant at Sunderland Museum.

The global automotive firm, which began producing the Bluebird in Sunderland in 1986, will share videos of key moments in the plant’s history, as well as an insight into the future of automotive as envisaged by Nissan.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan vice president for manufacturing in the UK, said that the exhibition would not only bring back memories for those old enough to remember the plant coming to Sunderland, but would help younger people in the North East to understand the development of the firm since it first arrived in Sunderland, and the impact NMUK has had on the development of the region.

He said: “Nissan is a huge employer in the city, and the positive influence the company has had on the community in Sunderland and the wider North East region is absolutely phenomenal.

“It’s easy to take our current position for granted, but it has been the result of three decades of hard work, and this exhibition is a great opportunity to reflect on that, and to see the fantastic milestones and people that have made Nissan all that it is today.”

The exhibition will run until 2 January 2017 and is free to attend.  It has been delivered with support from MAKE it Sunderland.

Among the key moments in the company’s history that are captured in the exhibition are Sunderland’s most successful models such as the Nissan Qashqai, the brand’s best-selling crossover, as well as the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, the Nissan Note, Juke and Juke Nismo. Last year, production of the Infiniti Q30, Nissan’s first premium vehicle to be built in Europe, also started at the Sunderland Plant,   creating a further 300 jobs.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are looking forward to showing the people of Sunderland exactly how much the Nissan plant brings to our city and community.

“Almost everyone in the city will know somebody who works at Nissan, a reflection of the scale of the company.  There have been a great many highs for the firm over the last three decades, and we are proud to support this exhibition to share the company’s progress, and how it has grown to be a business that supports over 40,000 UK jobs, with one in every three cars in the country being a Nissan.

“The work of our people at this plant has helped to put Sunderland on the map nationally and internationally and that is something we should all be very proud of.”

The exhibition will be held on the ground floor in the Time Gallery at Sunderland Museum until 2 January 2017.  To find out more about opening times, visit

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