By Daniel Hunter

The CBI today (Thursday) responded to the announcement that production of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF is starting in Sunderland.

Rhian Kelly, CBI Director for Business Environment, said: “The start of UK production of the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle is a landmark day for the UK automotive industry, and represents a bold new step towards zero-emissions motoring.

“This investment in the north east will help to support more than 2,000 jobs in the UK automotive supply chain.

“The UK has one of the most diverse and productive automotive industries in the world, attracting more than £6bn inward investment in the last two years and generating around £30 billion of annual export revenue for the UK economy.

“The much-anticipated automotive industrial strategy must build on this momentum by setting out an ambitious plan to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the UK’s car industry, building the strongest possible supply chain and supporting export growth in global markets.”

Nissan’s announcement comes on the same day that the CBI is highlighting the long-term growth potential of the UK automotive industry, outlining key priorities for the Government and businesses in advance of the automotive sector strategy, including enhancing the UK’s capabilities in automotive R&D (research and development), strengthening the supply chain and improving the skills base.

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