Nissan has marked a manufacturing milestone after the 11 millionth car rolled off the production line at the Sunderland plant.
The landmark figure means that on average a new car has rolled off the line at the factory every two minutes, every hour of every day, for 37 years. The 11 millionth car to be made at the site since production lines first launched in 1986 was a Blade Silver Qashqai e-POWER, one of three electrified models currently being built at the plant. The first car was a white Nissan Bluebird, which took about 22 hours to build. Today, a top of the range Qashqai e-POWER takes about 8.5 hours.
Adam Pennick, vice president of manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, said: “This milestone reflects the vast experience that our world-class manufacturing team has in delivering the quality cars that our customers love. We’ve come a long way since production first started with some iconic models on the way. But we’re always looking forward, and our fully electrified range and EV36Zero plan mean we have an exciting and sustainable future ahead.”
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The car is destined for a customer in France, which is just one of the 137 global markets the North East plant currently serves. The 11 million is made up of nine different models, with 22 variants. Four models – Qashqai, Micra, Primera and Juke have gone past seven figures – with Qashqai the all-time highest at more than four million.
Last year Qashqai was the UK’s best-selling new car – the first British built model to win the award in 24 years. The UK’s largest car manufacturer by volume, Sunderland Plant is home to a workforce of about 6,000 people. It also supports a further 30,000 UK jobs in the supply chain, with about five million parts arriving every day at the plant.
Last summer Qashqai e-Power and Juke Hybrid both went into production in Sunderland which, added to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, means the full range at the plant is electrified. So far more than 50,000 Qashqai e-Power and 20,000 Juke Hybrid have been built.
The plant is also moving forward with its EV36Zero project, which consists of three main elements: a new electric vehicle, a 12GWh gigafactory with the company’s battery partner Envision AESC, and a microgrid to deliver 100% renewable energy to Nissan and suppliers.
Construction started at the end of last year on the £450m project to create Envision AESC’s new battery plant serving Nissan, 10 years after it started electric vehicle battery production in the UK, with the first electric vehicle battery built back in 2012 to support production of the first generation Nissan Leaf.
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