Nissan has announced that a fifth model will be built at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland. Executive vice president of Nissan Patrick Pelata announced that a car, based on the ‘Tone’ MPV concept, will be produced on Wearside from January 2006.
A total of £125m has been invested in the project, with £24m of that going towards preparation at the plant, and its suppliers, ready for the start of production.
Mr Pelata said, ‘The Tone represents our thinking in the area of the mini MPV market, which we forecast to grow by a factor of four from 2002 to 2007.
‘I am happy to announce that we will introduce a car based on this design at the beginning of 2006, and it will be built at our plant in Sunderland, Europe’s most productive car factory.’
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd expects to be building around 100,000 of the new model each year, running alongside the current Sunderland line up of the Micra, Almera, Primera and Micra C+C – due for production launch next September. The new additions will add to the three-and-a-quarter million vehicles that have been made in Sunderland since 1986.
Following the announcement, NMUK managing director, Colin Dodge, commented, ‘I’m delighted that we’ll be producing the new car here in Sunderland. We’ve been working very hard to increase our overall competitiveness for some time now, and it’s very satisfying to see our efforts being rewarded.’