Nissan Sunderland plant visited by Nick Clegg

Clegg, who is also leader of the Liberal Democrats party, has toured Nissan’s award-winning plant this month while it is undergoing a large extension.

Nissan’s Sunderland Plant currently employs over 7,000 workers and rolls out several models from the brand’s current car line-up to customers around Europe. Current Nissan cars built by British workers at Sunderland include the latest LEAF and Note as well as the new-generation Qashqai.

The new Qashqai is on sale now with prices ranging from £17,595 and £27,845. The high-selling family crossover car is safer, more luxurious and technologically advanced then ever before.

While visiting the plant this month, Nick Clegg had a close look at the Nissan Qashqai and the all-electric LEAF in production. The Deputy Prime Minister also saw Nissan’s new electric van, known as the e-NV200.

Standard kit for the new Qashqai includes cruise control, air conditioning and a five-inch infotainment system.

The engine selection for the Qashqai features a combination of petrol and diesel units, all utilising fuel-saving stop-start technology as standard.

The petrol selection includes an 113bhp 1.2-litre unit. Diesel options meanwhile include 1.5 and 1.6-litre dCi units. The 109bhp 1.5-litre dCi is a particularly frugal option, returning a combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions at just 99g/km.

The e-NV200 is an all-electric, zero-emission version of Nissan’s dependable commercial vehicle. The e-NV200 is based on the Nissan LEAF hatchback and uses a lithium ion battery and 80kW AC motor capable of generating 280Nm of torque.

Recharging the e-NV200 van can also take as little as 30 minutes to reach an 80 per cent capacity at a quick charge station.

It will be launched to the UK market later in 2014 and has already received praise from fleet operators across Europe, not just for its low running costs. The e-NV200 has also been complimented for its riving comfort and generous carrying capacity and payload. Nissan will produce the e-NV200 at a factory in Zona Franca, Barcelona.

The Deputy Prime Minister finished off his tour of the Nissan Sunderland plant with a question and answer session with Nissan staff. He specifically spoke to staff from the Gateshead College Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI), which is also home to Nissan’s only Global Training Centre outside Japan.