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Home » Nissan’s Sunderland Plant Boosts Volumes And Turnover As Supply Challenges Ease

Nissan’s Sunderland Plant Boosts Volumes And Turnover As Supply Challenges Ease

Easing semiconductor supply issues have helped Nissan’s Sunderland plant to recover production volumes and boost turnover.

New accounts for the UK arm of the automotive giant show the total number of vehicles to roll off the production line in the year to the end of March was 260,000, up from 181,000 the year before. The volume is still well below the factory’s capacity but bosses say that as part shortages ease, production is expected to pick up further this year.

Turnover at the plant reached £5.3bn, up from £3.6bn while operating profit slipped to £49.4m, from £56.7m. The numbers cover a period in which the Sunderland plant started production of electrified versions of its popular Qashqai and Juke models using its e-Power and hybrid petrol-electric power trains.

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Nissan said it produced 41,000 of the e-Power Qashqais and 19,000 Juke Hybrids. Overall the Qashqai continued to be the company’s most popular model with 168,000 made during the year, up from 95,000 in 2022. That was reflected in Society of Motor Manufacturers &Traders official figures which showed the Qashqai was the best selling car of 2022 – the first British-built vehicle to top the sales chart since 1998.

In November Nissan announced it would build all electric replacements for the Qashqai and Juke models in Sunderland as part of a £1bn investment into the plant that also included setting up of a third gigafactory to provide batteries and renewable energy power to feed the site. A next generation Leaf model will also be produced at the Wearside factory.

As part of that investment – dubbed the EV36Zero project – construction of a major 20MW solar farm at the site was completed. That comes as part of Nissan’s efforts towards carbon neutrality, and together with on-site wind turbines and existing solar power, it means 20% of the factory’s electricity needs comes from its nearby renewables.

More recently, and beyond the year in review, Nissan confirmed speculation that it would work with long-time rival Honda in developing electric vehicles. The move, which brings together Japan’s second and third largest car makers, comes in the face of strong momentum from Chinese rival BYD.

A note within the accounts explained a restructure of Nissan’s European businesses, meaning that Nissan Manufacturing UK became what is known as a “fully fledged manufacturer” rather than a “contract manufacturer”, having previously sold the Sunderland-made vehicles to Nissan’s European head office in Switzerland. It said the move would mean the UK company is more exposed to variability of profits and losses in the future.

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