June 20 2019 @ 15:36 by Steven Hugill
A North East car maker has hit a record-breaking milestone after the ten millionth vehicle rolled off its production lines.
Nissan hit the landmark figure when staff completed work on a model of its flagship Qashqai marque at the company’s Sunderland factory.
Bosses said the feat means Sunderland is now the fastest car plant in the UK to reach the ten million mark.
They added the base has now, on average, made a new car every two minutes since it opened in 1986.
Steve Marsh, Nissan Sunderland plant vice president, manufacturing, said: “Building ten million vehicles is a tremendous achievement for everyone associated with the plant.
“Reaching this huge figure has called on all the ingenuity, commitment and spirit of our highly-skilled workforce, many of whom hail from the North East.
“Together we are determined to continue to drive up the high-quality standards our customers have come to expect over the last three decades.”
Nissan has made a range of models in the North East since production of the Bluebird started in 1986.
The Qashqai, with nearly 3.5 million models made since production started in 2006, sits at the top of the manufacturing table, followed by the Micra, with 2.4 million made between 1992 and 2010. The site also made 1.5 million Primeras between 1990 and 2007.
Workers have also so far made more than one million Juke models and 141,517 versions of Nissan’s all-electric Leaf hatchback. Both are currently manufactured alongside the Qashqai at Sunderland.
Earlier this year, Nissan, which employs about 7000 workers on Wearside and supports many more supply chain posts, confirmed it had made a U-turn on plans to make a new X-Trail model for the European market at Sunderland.
At the time, the firm said it had increased investments in new powertrains and technology for future European vehicles, which prompted officials to “optimise investments” in Europe by consolidating X-Trail production in Japan.
However, the plant will still be responsible for making the company’s next-generation Qashqai and Juke models.
TOTAL NISSAN SUNDERLAND PRODUCTION BY VEHICLE (at end of May 2019)
|Model||First produced||Last produced||Total made|