Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer of Nissan, has revealed that the next version of the company’s Qashqai will be designed, engineered and built in the UK, safeguarding 6,000 jobs both directly and indirectly through the UK supply chain.
The project represents a £192m investment in Britain and is being funded entirely by Nissan. It will build on the success of the current Qashqai, which was launched in December 2006 and is currently the highest-volume car produced in the UK.
The first stage of development will see the new version of the crossover styled at Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington, London. Once the design is finalised, engineers from the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, will take hold of the project. The completed car will then be built in the company’s Sunderland manufacturing facility.
Nissan is also investing £420m in its Sunderland plant, which will produce the all-electric Nissan LEAF from 2013, and in a new stand-alone facility, which will make lithium-ion batteries for both Renault and Nissan vehicles from 2012.
The current Qashqai production line in Sunderland has been running around the clock for more than a year to meet global demand, producing an average of 1,200 Qashqais per day. Each Qashqai produced has 3,779 parts, of which more than 83 per cent come from one of 224 UK suppliers.
The plant also produces the Nissan Note mini-MPV and the Juke compact crossover.