Nissan Leaf to be built in the UK
Production will start in 2013, safeguarding hundreds of jobs in the factory and local supply chains.
Government cash helps seal the deal
The Sunderland facility secured Nissan's investment with the help of a £20.7 million grant from the UK Government and a pledge of up to £220 million from the European Investment Bank.
The 50,000 all-electric Leaf hatchbacks, that will be built each year at the Sunderland factory, will be powered by the company's lithium-ion batteries – also produced at the north east facility.
Business secretary Lord Mandelson said: 'This investment is a fantastic vote of confidence in the Sunderland factory and its excellent workforce. The automotive sector is of key importance to the UK. It supports 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.'
The future of all-electric cars
The Nissan Leaf will become the first affordable mass-produced all-electric car, and will go on sale early next year. The UK will be the third country to build the Leaf, following Japan and the United States.
Nissan is yet to reveal how much the Leaf will cost when it goes on sale.
Ford secures funding, too
Ford has also benefited from Government aid in the UK, with £360 million loan guarantees.
The money will go towards Ford's £1.5 billion investment in cleaner, more efficient engines. More than 2800 jobs in Dagenham, Essex, Southampton and Wales will be safeguarded by the investment.
While Ford no longer builds any cars in the UK, around 25% of all of its engines are built in the UK, with that figure rising to 50% for diesel units.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: 'Ford is a major investor in research and development in the UK. The Government stands ready and willing to support these innovative R&D projects backed by a highly skilled workforce.'
'Vote of confidence'
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