Nissan SunderlandUK – At a cost of £37m, the plant will be extended to accommodate a new, extra-large press line. Scheduled to become operational in 2017, the 2,500-tonne press will support production of the Qashqai and Juke crossovers, the Note and the all-electric Leaf. It will also make panels for the upcoming compact Infiniti models, the Q30 and QX30.

The 6,780 sq.m extension required for the new press line plus panel storage will take the plant’s total built-up space to over 362,000 sq.m. An engineering programme is underway to prepare for the installation of the 10.5-metre machine, beginning with the excavation of a pit for the foundations which will be 6.5 metres deep. The press line will be the biggest at Sunderland and the first of its type in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, pressing panels with a force of 5,200 tonnes.

“Nearly 3m customers have bought a Nissan crossover that was manufactured here in the UK, and the 33,000 Nissan Leafs made here have helped it to become the best-selling electric vehicle in history,” commented Colin Lawther, Nissan’s senior vice-president for Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management in Europe.

“This fresh investment is a clear signal of our intent to continue leading in these key areas for the Nissan brand, with our crossover and electric vehicle success founded on the exceptional quality and delivery standards achieved by our workforce here in Sunderland.”