Production has started on Nissan’s new extra-large press at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland. The £37 million pound project has taken just over 18 months to complete, since ground was broken mid-way through 2015. Once at full capacity, it will be capable of stamping 2.5 million panels a year with a force in excess of 5,200 tonnes.
Nissan’s Divisional Vice President, European Manufacturing, Kevin Fitzpatrick, said: “The new press is a fantastic piece of cutting edge technology which sets up the next generation of production at Nissan Sunderland Plant. The quality of the build and the efficiency of the installation are a real credit to the dedication, talent and sheer hard work of our team at the plant.”
Fitzpatrick added: “Reaching nine million cars is also a tremendous achievement for the plant. The vehicles we make have come a long way from the first Nissan Bluebird to roll off the line. And it’s not just the quantity – it’s the quality of craftsmanship that goes into our innovative and exciting cars that will keep pushing us towards new production records.”
More than 10 meters in height, with foundations deeper than 6.5m, the giant facility will press body sides and other panels for vehicles built in Sunderland, including the leading crossovers Qashqai and Juke, the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.
The new press line and panel storage area required a building extension totalling 6,780m², taking the total built up space on site above 362,000m², the equivalent of more than 50 football pitches. The new XL press, the first of its type in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, will be the biggest at Sunderland and joins the existing seven press lines