Infiniti has commenced production of the Q30 active compact at its newly built manufacturing facilities in Sunderland, United Kingdom. Effectively, the Infiniti Q30 was the first vehicle to officially roll of the site's assembly line.
Likewise, the Q30 is Infiniti's first vehicle to be manufactured in Europe. As part of its global growth plan, Infiniti invested over $375 million (£250 million) into the Sunderland site, leading to the creation of around 300 new jobs.
The Sunderland site now has around 6,700 workers. Infiniti decided in 2012 to have the Q30 built in the UK, recognizing the quality standards achieved by Sunderland's workforce over many years. Then, the site opened the way for thousands of new workers, all trained to become Infiniti's new generation of premium car builders.
In fact, around 4,000 employees underwent a training program designed to make them capable of building cars that meet the expectations of Infiniti customers. Of course, Infiniti's workforce at Sunderland includes a select group of master craftsmen who make sure that every Q30 meets the carmaker's premium manufacturing standards.
The new production facilities at Sunderland cover around 25,000 square meters of the site. These facilities include a fully automated body shop that houses 134 new robots -- with laser-welding precision – for building the Q30's highly rigid body shell. Moreover, Infiniti also built a second plant – covering 14,500 square meters -- for final assembly.
The site also houses the Trim & Chassis shop in which the Infiniti operators perform 1,191 different tasks to complete each Q30 model. Of course, Infiniti's European design center in Paddington, UK and its technical center in Cranfield, UK, played a large role in the development of the Q30.
Representing Infiniti on the field in the UK are its Infiniti Retail Centers. Gracing the production milestone at the Sunderland site are Trevor Mann, Chief Performance Officer of Nissan Motor Corp. and Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Co.
Mann remarked that the production of the Q30 at the Sunderlant site marks a new chapter in the Infiniti story. He noted that over 30 years since the plant was established, it managed to become UK's largest automotive site known for its high-quality, top-selling vehicles. He added that the Sunderland site is regarded as a world-class production facility home to a highly skilled and dedicated workforce.
Mann remarked that the Sunderland plant received £250 million in investments to get it ready to produce the Q30 production, resulting to over 1,000 new jobs in the UK auto industry. He added that Q30 production is boosting Infiniti's premium vehicle manufacturing capability in Sunderland.
He noted that exports from UK to global markets like China and North America indicate the next phase in Infiniti's expansion and a new chapter for the Sunderland plant.
On the other hand, Krueger remarked that the Q30 comes at a time of significant opportunity for Infiniti, particularly that the carmaker recently posted record global sales. He remarked that the Q30 will allow them to enter the compact segment as part of Infiniti's strategy to become a top tier global premium brand.