Nissan said it reached a milestone of nine million cars built at its Sunderland plant — which employs 6,700 — since production began in 1986.
The company also said production had started on its new extra-large £37 million press at the plant.
“In addition to the company’s £3 billion annual injection into the British economy through suppliers, services and wages, the new press forms part of the £650 million ongoing investment in new facilities and future models in Sunderland which has taken the total capital investment by Nissan in the plant since it opened to beyond £4 billion,” said the company.
The new press line and panel storage area required a building extension totalling 6,780m², taking the total built up space at the plant over 362,000m², the equivalent of more than 50 football pitches.
Nissan’s divisional vice president, European manufacturing, Kevin Fitzpatrick, said: “The new press is a fantastic piece of cutting edge technology which sets up the next generation of production at Nissan Sunderland plant.
“The quality of the build and the efficiency of the installation are a real credit to the dedication, talent and sheer hard work of our team at the plant.
“Reaching nine million cars is also a tremendous achievement for the plant.
“The vehicles we make have come a long way from the first Nissan Bluebird to roll off the line.
“And it’s not just the quantity — it’s the quality of craftsmanship that goes into our innovative and exciting cars that will keep pushing us towards new production records.”