Nissan Sunderland produces 507,430 vehicles

Nissan’s 2016 UK production statistics showed that 507,430 vehicles were produced at Nissan Sunderland last year — the second highest total in the plant’s history.

Nissan Sunderland — the largest British car plant in history — produced record volumes of the all-electric LEAF and the second generation Qashqai.

Total volume at the Sunderland plant is now approaching nine million since the first car rolled off the line in 1986.

“Since the birth of our factory three decades ago, North East England has become one of the major international automotive centres,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan divisional vice president, European manufacturing.

“Britain is now home to Nissan’s best-selling and most technologically-advanced models in Europe, covering our market-leading crossover range, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle and two premium models for global export.

“This has been achieved through hard work, innovative thinking, ingenuity and strong partnerships with forward-thinking local companies.”

Following the start of production of the Infiniti Q30 in late 2015, a second Infiniti model, the QX30, went into production for global markets in 2016 — which represented the first time vehicles have been exported from Sunderland to the US and China.

Nissand said other highlights in 2016 included the installation of 19,000 new solar panels alongside the plant’s existing 10 wind turbines, taking the contribution of renewables to 7% of the plant’s electricity requirements.

New facilities under development at the Sunderland plant include a new £37 million extra large press line, due to start production in the coming weeks.

Other investment announced in 2016 included the £22 million Qashqai capacity expansion and £26.5 million in manufacturing a future generation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the UK.

“In addition to the company’s £3 billion annual injection into the British economy through suppliers, services and wages, £650 million ongoing investment in new facilities and future models in Sunderland will take the total capital investment by Nissan in the plant since it opened to beyond £4 billion,” said the company.

Nissan’s investment in the UK has been supported by several UK Government grants for innovation and energy efficiency projects, including future-generation EV batteries.

Employment at Nissan’s UK design studio at Paddington in London, its technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, manufacturing plant at Sunderland, and sales and marketing operations at Maple Cross, Hertfordshire, now totals more than 8,000.

A further 28,000 jobs in Nissan’s UK supply chain and 4,000 in its UK dealer network takes the total British jobs supported by Nissan to more than 40,000.