Nissan to create 800 new jobs in Sunderland

31 January 2008 #SMMT News

§         Third production shift to be implemented in response to Qashqai demand

§         Recruitment to begin for 800 new staff

§         Over 130,000 Qashqai models sold in Europe since launch in March 2007

§         A record 353,000 total units produced at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant in 2007

§         The plant is the UK‘s largest car producer and exporter


Nissan is to recruit 800 additional staff and implement a third production shift at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland in response to a record production year and continuing high demand for the award-winning Qashqai. Since its European launch in March 2007, sales have reached 130,000 units and, as a result, last June Nissan boosted production at Sunderland by 20 per cent to help meet demand.


This contributed to the plant achieving a record annual production volume of 353,000 units of Qashqai, Note, Micra and Micra C+C models in 2007, surpassing its previous volume record of 332,000 set in 2003. Now with orders still above forecast and a customer order bank of 60,000 units, Sunderland plant has launched one of its largest ever recruitment campaigns. 


By December 2008, 800 additional manufacturing staff will be recruited. Of these, 400 will be permanent positions, and the remainder will be temporary contracts.


In addition, all of the Sunderland plant’s current temporary manufacturing staff will be offered permanent positions with the company on a rolling basis throughout the year, subject to performance and sustained volume. These measures will allow Sunderland to implement a third ‘night-time’ shift on the Qashqai production line.


Trevor Mann, senior vice-president for manufacturing and supply chain management, Nissan Europe, said, ‘Currently on two shifts, we can produce 200,000 Qashqais per year. However, the car is proving so popular we now need to significantly increase our volume. Today, this level of recruitment in the Western European car manufacturing sector is rare, and reflects the ongoing commitment Nissan has in its UK operation.’


In addition to recruitment directly at the plant, it is estimated that more than 400 new posts will be created throughout Nissan’s local supply base to support the third shift.  


SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt, commented: ‘The Qashqai, designed, developed and manufactured here in the UK, is winning business around the world. The Nissan team has done a fantastic job and their success demonstrates the important role of automotive manufacturing to the regional and national economy.’


The Qashqai was designed at Nissan Design Europe, in Paddington, London, while technical development was undertaken at its technical centre in Cranfield, England. 


In May last year, the car was awarded the maximum five-star rating for adult occupant protection from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), with the highest-ever recorded score for any vehicle. 




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