After a decade of customer demand, Nissan today announces its intention to increase Qashqai capacity and further enhance its position as the best-selling crossover in Europe.
Nissan still cannot keep pace with the continued growth of the crossover market it created with Qashqai, despite record volumes of 300,000 cars every year on Line 1 at the company’s Sunderland Plant, round-the-clock production and a build rate of one car every minute.
Now Nissan engineers are preparing to uncork supply to its European customers by modifying Line 2 in Sunderland to introduce additional Qashqai production, a further investment of £22m/€29m in the plant. The first additional vehicles are scheduled for production before the end of 2016, ahead of the next phase in Qashqai’s development in 2017 when it becomes the first Nissan in Europe to feature autonomous ‘Piloted Drive’ technology.
Colin Lawther, Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management in Europe, said: “When the first Qashqai came off the line in 2006 it created the crossover segment. Today it remains the benchmark for European customers for its dynamic styling, exciting driving experience and innovative technology.
“Through innovative engineering and productivity improvements, my colleagues in Sunderland have broken production records to keep pace with demand, but our new generation Qashqai has reached a tipping point.
“This additional capacity will give us free supply of Qashqai for the first time, ahead of the launch of a refreshed Qashqai equipped with Piloted Drive technology from next year.”
Nissan is this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sunderland facility, which has grown to become the largest UK car plant of all-time, supporting nearly 40,000 UK jobs and manufacturing one in three of all cars made in Britain. Thanks to Nissan’s UK-based design and technical centres, vehicles like the Qashqai are designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK and exported from Sunderland to over 130 markets.