Nissan Qashqai vehicle at its plant in Sunderland Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nissan had been gearing up to produce a new version of the popular Qashqai.

The suspension of production at the Nissan car factory in Sunderland because of coronavirus is to continue throughout April, the company has said.

The plant, which employs 7,000 people, makes the Qashqai, Juke and electric LEAF models.

That production was put on hold two weeks ago.

The majority of staff will be furloughed with 80% of their salary paid by the government and Nissan topping up the rest.

Last month bosses at the Japanese carmaker said they were considering a government request to help manufacture ventilators for the NHS to combat the virus.

The site, which has been open since 1986, made almost 350,000 of Britain’s 1.3m cars last year.

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