front right: Cllr Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council with (l to r) Gary Graham, John Cruddace and Stuart Saunders of Unipres at the pit built to secure the new £20m press machinery

450 tonnes of steel going through 18 presses every day, operated and managed by a workforce of more than 1150, working around the clock on three shifts.

These bare facts lie behind the success of automotive component company Unipres, producing lightweight, high tensile strength steel parts.

Japanese-owned Unipres mainly supplies Nissan, but is also ramping up production to supply Honda in Swindon with components for its Civic Global model, and is making parts for Renault. 

Unipres parts are found in Nissan Juke, Qashqai, Leaf and Note models along with the Infiniti range produced in Sunderland, as well as Renault models Kadjar, Espace, Scenic, Clio and Captur. The export of the new Honda Civic Global to the US has created even greater volume demand for parts.

This has been made possible thanks to the £83 million capital investment programme Unipres has committed to the Sunderland plant since 2013.

Unipres managing director Gary Graham said: "This level of investment is a statement of belief and confidence in the long term future of Unipres UK in supporting existing volumes and the on-going success of our major customers such as Nissan, Renault and Honda, whilst expanding our developing overseas markets in Europe and Russia which now equates to 25 per cent of our business.