New Juke production begins at Nissan Sunderland plant

Following a £100 million investment, Nissan has marked the start of production of the new Juke at its Sunderland plant

Nissan Sunderland
Nissan Juke bodyshop at the firm’s Sunderland plant

Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, the new Juke has been developed specifically for European markets, with Sunderland the only production location for the vehicle.

Developed by Nissan’s European design and R&D teams in Paddington, London, and Cranfield, Bedfordshire, 70 per cent of Juke production will be for the EU markets, with two thirds of its suppliers based in the EU.

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Nissan Europe Chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, said: “The new Juke represents a further £100m investment in our Sunderland plant and is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK for European customers.

“Thirty-five years ago Nissan decided to create a plant in the UK to serve our European markets. Ten million vehicles later, Sunderland is the biggest UK car plant in history and the all-new Juke is the most connected Nissan car. With more than 35,000 jobs supported by Nissan in the UK, I would like to thank our experienced and skilled teams in Paddington, Cranfield and Sunderland, and our wider supply base, for their efforts in bringing this all-new model to life.”

In addition to more than 5,000 hours of staff training  to support the launch, the factory has required new investment upgrades to deliver the new Juke’s suite of advanced technology and high levels of interior and exterior personalisation.

This includes more than 27 new die sets, which cut and mold the car’s ultra-high-tensile steel, which have been installed in the Press Shop to form the Juke’s athletic new design. Meanwhile, four new spray booths have been built in the Paint Shop to accommodate the choice of 15 different two-tone body colour combinations.

Juke is powered by an efficient 1.0-liter three-cylinder DIG-T turbocharged petrol engine which is manufactured in Sunderland. With 117 PS, it gives drivers improved performance, fuel economy and refinement.

Final assembly on the Juke production line

To support the production of new car, extra manufacturing staff will be needed on the plant’s production Line Two. In a restructuring of the production schedule, these staff will transfer from production Line One, with both lines operating on a two shift pattern. Overall headcount at the plant will remain the same.

The start of the new production process comes at a time when many Japanese car makers are looking carefully at their footprints in the UK, which has long been viewed as a key gateway into the wider European market.  Indeed, earlier this year Nissan announced that it had scrapped plans to build the new X Trail at the Sunderland plant, citing concerns over the UK’s impending exit from the EU and the slump in diesel sales. More recently it suggested that a no-deal Brexit may also cause it to reverse its decision to build the new Qashqai at the plant.