A brand new midsized hatchback model will be manufactured in 2014 at the Sunderland facility in the United Kingdom, according to Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The announcement came after a disclosure at the Geneva Motor Show in March that the Sunderland plant will also build a mainstream B-segment compact vehicle founded on the Invitation Concept beginning in 2013.
The production of the recently announced new medium hatchback will generate 225 more jobs at Nissan. It will also create 900 jobs at the suppliers of Nissan in the UK. When combined, the two vehicle models will lead to at least 3,000 new jobs in the automotive sector of the UK in the next two years. Of the 3,000 new jobs, 625 will be added at Nissan while the rest of the figure will be spread throughout the supply base.
When all job positions for the two vehicle models are filled, the Sunderland facility will have a record 6,225 supporting a total yearly plant volume of at least half a million units.
The new hatchback has been confirmed to mark Nissan's homecoming to the mainstream medium segment in the European region. It will play a key role in the continued expansion of the automaker under the ambitious 'Nissan Power 88' mid-term plan.
The hatchback will be named sometime near the date it will be launched for sale. The new model will bring production capacity to about 80,000 units, prompting the Sunderland facility to add a new shift.
It will also lead the two production lines to operate 'around the clock' -- a first in the plant's 26 years of operations, bringing manufacturing capacity to more than 550,000 units. In addition, Nissan and UK Prime Minister's announcement consolidates the position of the Sunderland plant as the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the United Kingdom.
This is a title that the facility has held since 1998. In 2010, the Sunderland facility was the first and only UK vehicle facility to manufacture at least 400,000 units in a single year, when 423,000 Qashqai, Juke and Note units were produced. This was broken in 2011, when 480,000 automobiles were generated. Presently, the facility is preparing to hit its first half-million mark.