Nissan UK aims to achieve big cost savings in the production of its new `C’ class car to be built at Sunderland by cutting design and development time of components by 50%.
The Japanese-owned vehicle manufacturer aims to reduce development time for the new car to two and a half years from the average of four years, bringing Nissan UK into line with its Japanese parent. `Design accounts for 80% of the cost, performance and quality of the product, so it’s important to get this right from the outset,’ said Ian Milburn, deputy managing director of Nissan’s European Technology Centre at Cranfield.
The efficiencies are the result of a £400,000 Office of Science and Technology co-ordinated project to improve the design performance of British component suppliers. The three-year scheme, Cogent, started in December 1995 and has cut trial and testing time.
Cogent helped bring the new Nissan model to Sunderland, said Milburn. `It enabled us to put forward a competitive cost for the new car. At least 40 of our suppliers now understand the type of performance and costs we are looking for.’