April 30, 2020 / 2:45 PM / a month ago

Nissan plans to restart output at UK's biggest car factory in June

FILE PHOTO: A Nissan logo is pictured at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

LONDON (Reuters) - Nissan (7201.T) will restart phased production in early June at its northern English Sunderland factory, Britain’s biggest car plant, as the sector tries to resume operations amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Output at the site, which made just under 350,000 vehicles last year and builds the Qashqai, Juke and Leaf models, has been suspended since March 17.

“During this period the majority of plant employees will remain furloughed, and we are grateful for the government support that has enabled us to take this action,” the company said in a statement.

Last week it began piloting safety measures involving around 50 staff at the location.

BMW’s (BMWG.DE) Rolls-Royce car factory looks set to be the first British car factory to resume output with a start date of May 4.

“We are receiving orders from our customers and we are heeding the British government’s call to resume production and support the British economy,” said its chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes.

Aston Martin (AML.L), Bentley and Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (TAMO.NS) are also due to resume some production next month.

Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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