Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nissan Hits Top Gear to Race to the Million Mark

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nissan Hits Top Gear to Race to the Million Mark

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton Chief Reporter dan.warburton@ncjmedia.co.uk

NISSAN'S North East plant has become the first site in UK history to produce more than 1,000,000 cars in just two years.

Car makers on Wearside reached the mammoth milestone thanks to increasing demand for their crossover vehicle, the Quashqai. Last night MPs, business leaders and one of Nissan's most senior executives paid tribute to the company's contribution to the region's economy and the huge achievements the plant had secured.

Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson said: "This is a fantastic landmark for Nissan in the North East, and another sign of how effective the local workforce is at Nissan and across the supply chain.

"Every car that rolls off the line is another contribution to jobs and prosperity in my constituency and across the North East, so the next big milestone can't come soon enough."

Annual production figures of 501,756 follow a year in which Prime Minster David Cameron visited the plant to mark the launch of the Nissan Leaf, and work began on a plant extension to enable production of the Infiniti Q30 from 2015.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan's Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, said: "Building over a million cars in two years is a further sign of Nissan's growing brand presence in one of the most competitive markets in Europe.

"Exceeding output of 500,000 units for a second year is an even greater achievement given we combined this high volume whilst also starting production of the all-electric Nissan Leaf at the plant, along with the launch of the new Note, and replacing the most popular car we have ever made with the new generation Qashqai."

In 2013, more than 286,000 of the cars built in Sunderland last year were Nissan Qashqais, now in its eighth year of production. Total Qashqai production in the UK now stands at 1,752,232 since 2006. …

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