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To Infiniti and beyond - Nissan Sunderland marks a new chapter
NISSAN has been given the go ahead to expand its Sunderland plant and become the first in Europe to produce the luxury Infiniti model.
Building work is due to start in the coming weeks after planning approval was granted by Sunderland City Council’s Development Control Committee yesterday (Wednesday).
This extension, designed to manufacture the Infiniti, will cover 25,000 sq metres and will house specialist equipment in the body and final assembly areas of the production line.
It forms part of the previously announced £250m investment by Infiniti which will create 1,000 new jobs.
The firm has released pictures of the Q30 Concept vehicle, which will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, giving a first glimpse of how the new Infiniti production model could look.
When production begins in 2015, Infiniti will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale in 23 years. Nissan’s Sunderland plant was chosen to make the model in recognition of the workforce’s productivity and quality achievements over many years.
“The Q30 Concept signals the next step in our strategy to significantly extend into new premium segments – and the production car will fully deliver on the concept’s promise”, said Fintan Knight, the vice president of Infiniti Europe. “The compact segment is crucial for our future growth plans and the decision to invest and build the vehicle in the UK further underlines our long term commitment to Europe," he added.
This latest phase in the expansion at Sunderland comes after the plant cemented its place as the biggest UK car factory of all time by surpassing 500,000 vehicles built in 2012.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice president for manufacturing in the UK, said: “The arrival of Infiniti will mark a new chapter in our operations in Sunderland.
“The Q30 Concept represents a new direction for this premium segment and for the Infiniti brand. Equally, this expansion reflects how Infiniti production will enhance manufacturing capability not only in our operations but throughout our supply chain.”
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