Nissan invests £400m in Sunderland plant
Nissan has invested £400 million in its Sunderland plant, including £52 million for a new extra-large metal press, in preparation for production of the third-generation Qashqai later this year.
Some of the statistics around the new press are extraordinary. It can exert 5,400 tonnes of pressure, produce over 6.1million vehicle panels a year, weighs more than 2,000 tonnes, and took 18 months to install. It also features a new recycling system to segregate and process scrap, as well as upgrades to an existing blanking line that supplies sheets of metal ready to be pressed.
The first panel to be produced by the new line was a wing for a Nissan Juke, which is currently in its second generation. March 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the first ever Juke rolling off the Sunderland plant’s production line. The current model has been built exclusively at the plant since October 2019.
The £400 million investment follows a previous injection of £100 million for Juke production, and is part of an overall package of £1 billion being spent on the factory over the course of five years. Nissan’s investment has been supported by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new press line, Nissan’s chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta, said: “When the first Nissan Qashqai rolled off the line in Sunderland in 2006, it created the crossover segment.
“Designed, engineered and made in the UK, and more than three million vehicles later, it remains the benchmark, just as our team in the UK continues to set the standard for productivity and quality.”
Steve Marsh, vice president of manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, added: “Watching the first perfect panels coming off the press was a proud moment, and is a reflection of the tremendous skills we have here on Wearside.
“Juke is an iconic model. I know I speak for the whole plant in saying how proud we are to see the fantastic new version out on the roads, and that we are determined to keep delivering it to the quality levels our customers have come to expect.”
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