Nissan Motor Co. Ltd’s premium car brand – Infiniti – has today announced that it will begin manufacturing vehicles in the UK at Nissan’s award-winning Sunderland facility from 2015. The news comes in the same week that the factory has manufactured its 500,000th unit in 2012, an all-time UK industry record for a single year of production.
The announcement represents an investment of around £250 million into the plant and is expected to secure a further 1,000 jobs at Sunderland and across the UK. When production begins, Infiniti will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale in 23 years.
“Nissan’s decision to manufacture the all new premium compact Infiniti model at its Sunderland plant is another tremendous vote of confidence in the UK auto industry,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “The UK is a globally competitive base for automotive production with its highly-skilled, flexible workforce and advanced productivity levels. UK facilities are producing luxury, premium and volume vehicles, which are winning business in markets around the world.”
Colin Dodge CBE, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd Executive Vice President and Chief Performance Officer, said, “This milestone, our first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland, reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant, which is moving up the value chain.”
Attending a ceremony at Sunderland to mark the news, Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “Today’s news is a strong endorsement of the quality of Britain’s car industry, which is creating jobs, taking on apprentices and contributing to building a stronger economy. The auto sector is living up to being one of the great success stories of our industrial strategy and a testimony to government and private sector working together in close partnership.”
During 2012, employment on the Sunderland site passed 6,000 for the first time and global exports from the plant have now passed five million units. Production of the new Infiniti model is expected to create 280 new jobs at the plant, which has capacity to produce 60,000 units of the new car per year.
UK automotive manufacturers have set their sights on breaking all-time manufacturing records by the end of 2015. The confidence is fuelled by more than £6bn of investments committed to the country during the last two years that will see facilities expanded, new models introduced and thousands more people employed.
To read a round-up of announcements on investment, manufacturing expansion, new vehicle models and employment within the UK’s automotive sector, visit www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/uk-automotive/investment/.