Sunderland success story continues with new Qashqai production

22 January 2014 #SMMT News

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Today in Sunderland (Wednesday 22 January), Nissan – the UK’s largest car manufacturer – began production of its next generation Qashqai, the UK’s most produced model.

Investment injections, growing employment and booming demand has tipped the plant’s total workforce over the 7,000 mark for the first time in its 28-year history with output forecast to grow beyond its 500,000-plus level of recent years.

A truly home-grown product, the Sunderland-built Qashqai was designed in London at Nissan’s European Design Centre, while engineering took place at the firm’s Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. It is estimated that the 7,000 jobs at Sunderland support another 40,000 roles across the UK automotive industry.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “It’s great news that the new model Qashqai is rolling off the production line in Sunderland. Nissan supports 40,000 jobs across the UK, and when you add that to the half a billion pound investment that Nissan has made in this country for this new model, it shows how our long term plan is giving companies the confidence to invest and create jobs in Britain.”

Trevor Mann, Chief Performance Officer, Nissan said, “Behind the rise of Qashqai is the operational excellence of Nissan’s design, engineering and manufacturing operations. It gives me great pleasure to return to Sunderland to thank and pay tribute to the many thousands of colleagues at Nissan and in our supply base who have contributed to this success.”

The UK car manufacturing industry has seen strong growth over recent years, with 2013 volumes the highest since 2007. Amid heavy investment from government and industry, independent analysts are predicting car output to reach all-time record levels within the next four years.

UPDATE: SMMT has now published full-year UK car production figures for 2013 – click here for the full story.

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