Most of Nissan’s 6,000 employees at its Sunderland factory have been furloughed.
The move comes after the manufacturer announced that the plant would stay closed for the rest of April at least.
The shutters came down on the Wearside site on March 17 as a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic to stop the virus spreading. The plant is often hailed as the most productive in Europe.
In a statement, Nissan said: ‘During this period, the majority of plant employees will be furloughed under the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
‘Our goal is to navigate through this crisis while maintaining activities critical for business continuity, and to make sure we are prepared for the time when business resumes in Europe and we can welcome the Nissan team back to work.’