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  • Nissan Shares Best Practice
  • 12 June 2015
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    Nissan Shares Best Practice

    Nissan and another manufacturing giant, Komatsu UK, are getting together to share the secrets of their success...

Nissan and another manufacturing giant, Komatsu UK, are getting together to share the secrets of their success. It’s an arrangement organised by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), a cluster group launched earlier this year to strengthen vehicle manufacture in the North East, home of Nissan’s UK manufacturing plant.

Komatsu UK, which manufactures excavators, and Nissan will kick things off for NEAA by benchmarking health and safety best practice.

Nissan’s Vice-President for Manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick, said: “The way in which Nissan and Komatsu are linking up to share experience came about through NEAA’s focus on bringing together automotive businesses.

“It will help to boost performance in the region’s car-making sector by helping to share knowledge and best practice through link-ups, workshops and training.”

Paul Blanchard, Komatsu UK Manufacturing Director, said: “Sharing of best practice information can only strengthen the performance of the region’s automotive and manufacturing sectors, and it is being driven by NEAA.

“The detailed practical discussions on specialist subjects sparked by such activity involve manufacturing companies such as Komatsu, and are pivotal in bringing forward new ideas, and helping us all progress in competitive sectors.

“The NEAA’s business excellence activity is proving to be of great benefit to Komatsu UK. It creates shop floor visits to members’ plants involved in similar manufacturing techniques, to help us all see the advantages of the application of new technology to improve efficiency.”

The automotive industry is big business in the North East, driving £7bn in sales, over £5bn in exports and a trade surplus every year of £2.6bn. In over 20 projects in recent years, the sector has also been granted over £1bn in regional investment.

The NEAA’s aim is to maximise all this potential, help the industry enter new markets and bring in investment to the area. It’s on the lookout for North East SMEs to participate in a £300,000 initiative, the SME Supply Chain Development Programme. The NEAA hopes to match companies with business opportunities and spread the spirit of collaboration.

Any automotive company in the North East is eligible to join the NEAA, whether they’re a multinational like Nissan or a sole trader. They can even be members of the supply chain.

NEAA chief executive Paul Butler said: “The North East automotive industry provides 26,000 direct jobs, impacts on 141,000 more jobs and potentially could create a further 10,000 jobs over the next decade.

“As a cluster group, the NEAA is here to represent and work on behalf of the whole industry, whether a company is making cars or components, or working in commercial, off-highway or engine manufacture.”

Howards Group, based across the South West of England, is an authorised Nissan dealer. Call in to our Weston-Super-Mare showrooms soon for a test drive.

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