Nissan’s Chief Performance Officer given freedom of Sunderland

Mann has also received his award in recognition of the example of achievement he has set to the city’s young people. It also recognises his personal contribution to the economic well-being of the city and people of Sunderland.

The Nissan Sunderland plant now employs more than 7,000 and, since first starting work there in 1985, Mr Mann has helped oversee many of its production and manufacturing milestones.

Last year Nissan made more than 500,000 vehicles in Sunderland, where more than 7.5 million vehicles have been manufactured since the plant first opened. Currently the Sunderland plant builds new Nissan cars including the brand-new Qashqai, as well as the Note, Juke and LEAF.

On receiving his award, Trevor Mann commented: “There is a spirit and enthusiasm that makes Sunderland a very special place. This approach to life was one of the key reasons why Nissan first decided to locate in North East England.

“I am therefore honoured to be granted the Freedom of the City of Sunderland today and accept it with a huge amount of pride.

“I would like to pay tribute to all my colleagues, the City Council and our many UK partners for the support they have given Nissan over the past three decades. They have all played a role in creating a new international automotive centre, here in North East England.”

Mr Mann was previously awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours List for his Services to Business in North East England.

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We have recognised Trevor and the outstanding contributions he has made to the well-being, the community and the spirit of the city.

“In recognising Trevor, we are celebrating the story and achievements of Nissan in the city as his qualities and competence have been recognised beyond the industry.

“He has led on many a historic motoring moment, and has been instrumental in the creation of thousands of jobs, not only directly but in its supply chain and the service industries also.

“The freedom formally seals the relationships between Mr Mann and the City of Sunderland and recognises his contribution to the well being and community spirit of the city. He is a great example to us all.”