Nissan’s Sunderland factory resumed production today after nearly three months of shutdown following restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The factory, which is one of the largest automotive plants in the UK, currently builds the Juke, Qashqai and Leaf. Since the lockdown was put in place, preparations have been made to ensure a safe working environment for returning staff, including social distancing measures, removing common touchpoints, installing protective screens, a one-way system and PPE equipment being made available to all staff. While the reopening is a major boost to the workforce, a small number of staff had already returned to work in April from the drivetrain division.

The first car to roll off the production line will be the new Nissan Juke, with cars built at the factory being shipped across Europe.

Alan Johnson, Nissan vice president for manufacturing in the UK said: “It’s great to see cars rolling off the line at the plant again, including the new Nissan Juke.

“It’s a testament to the skill and dedication of the team here that we have been able to get back up and running again, with a full set of safety measures in place.”

Government recommendations have also meant that dealerships can reopen, providing guidance is followed on social distancing, safety equipment and hygiene regulations. That now means that over 95 per cent of its dealer network is now open.