Nissan’s British production plant in Sunderland, which is widely famous for efficiency and quality, achieves a new production milestone as the six millionth car rolls off the assembly lines. In 2010 alone, the Sunderland plant made 423,262 units, of which 81% were exported. With this new record Nissan maintains its status as UK’s biggest car producer in every year since 1998.
The previous record for production at Nissan Sunderland Plant stood at 386,555 units in 2008, which fell in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis to 338,150 units. In 2010 production not only recovered but surpassed the previous record by 45,707 units.
One of the models that contributed greatly to this record was the popular Qashqai crossover. A third shift was added to the Qashqai line in May 2010, boosting annual production of Qashqai and Qashqai+2 to 271,188, up from 198,841 in 2009 and 224,989 in 2008. They’ve also made 44,622 Nissan Jukes, 54,580 Nissan Micras, and 52,872 Nissan Notes.
The 6 millionth milestone car is a Force Red Nissan Juke, which passed its final safety and quality checks on January 18.
Nissan’s Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick, commented: “2010 was a landmark year for the plant and represents a superb achievement by our workforce.
“This performance also reflects the popularity of the models we are producing in Sunderland, especially the Nissan Qashqai and the new Nissan Juke, which have both been designed, engineered and built in the UK.
“By focusing on cost competitiveness, quality and being responsive to fluctuating customer demand, we have experienced significant growth in our operation where others have declined. This winning formula will be the key to securing future new products and continued growth.”
The 2010 calendar year also saw Nissan announce that the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, the new European Car of the Year, would be manufactured at Sunderland from 2013. Construction work is progressing well on the new battery plant at Sunderland, which will produce lithium-ion batteries for the Nissan LEAF. The first UK customers will receive their Nissan LEAF in the coming weeks, having benefited from the £5,000 UK Government Plug-In Car Grant.