The Nissan Sunderland Plant celebrates the 25th anniversary of its official opening on September 8, 1986. Then-Prime Minister Lady Thatcher went to the North East to perform the launch and to paint the second eye on a traditional Japanese ‘daruma’ doll, symbolizing the successful opening of the facility. It was then followed by the painting of the first eye by Princess Diana and Prince Charles in a visit to the company’s Zama Plant in Japan.
In 25 years, the Nissan Sunderland Plant has broken records in the UK car production history, with volumes rising from 5,139 Bluebirds that year to 423,262 units in 2010, the first time ever that a UK vehicle facility had made at least 400,000 units in a year.
Today, Nissan has built at least 6.2 million vehicles and 12 different models at Sunderland such as Juke, Qashqai, Note, Almera, Micra, Primera and Bluebird. Nissan Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn commended the significant achievements of the Nissan Sunderland Plant and its employees over the past 25 years.
He stated that as the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the United Kingdom, the plant is a “beacon of Nissan’s exemplary leadership” in technology, manufacture and management, which define an international vehicle company in the 21st century.
Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he welcomes the company’s continued investment in the UK. Nissan plays a vital role in balancing the country’s economy, the Prime Minister added. He added that with the manufacture, design and development of their new generation Qashqai taking place in the UK, the company has restated its confidence in the skills of its British workforce as well as in the country’s manufacturing sector.