The North East is one of the most established and productive manufacturing sectors in Europe, home to Nissan and an abundance of other thriving manufacturing giants including Hitachi, Cummins, Komatsu, Caterpillar and Liebherr.
The region produces 30% of all UK passenger vehicles, which includes 20% of all battery electric vehicles across Europe and 350,000 engines per year. Three of the UK’s top five off-highway manufacturers are based here and produce 10% of all UK non-highway vehicles.
The region produces 30% of all UK passenger vehicles
20% of all battery electric vehicles across Europe
10% of all UK non-highway vehicles
The North East is a globally significant region for automotive manufacturing, home to the UK’s largest car plant, three of the UK’s top five off-highway manufacturers and an internationally competitive supply chain comprising 34 first tier suppliers, a myriad of innovative SMEs, 21 R&D centres and a strong business support network. The sector employs over 30,000 people, exports £7.4 billion and has a turnover of £11 billion per annum.
Electrification is a key part of the Government’s plan to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 and this represents a huge opportunity for the North East of England. No other region in the UK can compare to the North East’s electrification credentials which date back to the 1920’s.
Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK – Key facts;
10m cars since the launch in 1986
Accounts for 30% of all UK car production
Exports to more than 130 markets
Batteries – Key facts;
The UK’s largest lithium-ion battery producer.
The UK’s first large scale gigafactory is in build stage. A second state-of-the-art gigafactory from AESC UK, announced in 2021, with 16GWh capacity and located on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland.
In November 2023, Nissan announced it will build a third gigafactory to produce batteries for the vehicles, all of which will be powered by renewable energy.
The EV36Zero hub in Sunderland, Nissan’s blueprint for future manufacturing, will produce three new all-electric vehicles, supplied by three gigafactories and £3bn of investment in the UK.
Komatsu UK – Key facts;
Currently employs over 500 staff
An extensive product portfolio, featuring 17 models
Exports mainly to Europe and North Africa
The UK plant at Birtley was officially opened in 1987 by HRH The Prince of Wales
The region is home to Europe’s most successful Electric Vehicle (EV), the Nissan LEAF, Europe’s first Giga battery manufacturing facility, and has full Power Electronics, Motors and Drives (PEMD) capability.
The EV36Zero hub in Sunderland – a £1billion EV Hub to accelerate the journey to carbon neutrality and Nissan’s blueprint for future manufacturing – will produce three new all-electric vehicles, supplied by three gigafactories and £3bn of investment in the UK, securing the future for the supply chain and reaffirming the region’s position as the UK’s leading location for vehicle electrification.
In 2021, further investment from Turntide Technologies and Peak Resources demonstrate how the North East is leading the UK’s electrification agenda.
The region also boasts supporting research and development infrastructure from Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre North East and the Advanced Propulsion Centre. The Advanced Propulsion Centre, who are funded by the UK Government to make the UK a centre of excellence for the research, development and production of low carbon propulsion technology, has an Electric Machine spoke at Newcastle University. In total, 17 of the 21 automotive-related research centres in the North East are focused on electrification.
NORTH EAST ENGLAND
The North East of England, with its manufacturing heritage, is at the forefront in developing the technologies committed to supporting decarbonisation and leading the drive for Net Zero.