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Nissan, in Sunderland, says it overcame relentless competition to build new Note
A CARMAKER says it beat relentless global competition to build a new model after starting £125m work at its North-East factory.
Nissan, in Sunderland, says the new Note hatchback, which officially began rolling off the production today (Monday, September 16), will strengthen its position in the motor industry.
The Japanese company, which employs more than 6,000 North-East workers, says the investment has created 400 new jobs and supported 1,600 existing supply chain posts.
Bosses say the plant beat overseas Nissan teams to secure the work, with the firm receiving more than 14,000 pre-orders for the model.
It expects to make about 100,000 of the hatchbacks every year, that will compete against the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta when it appears on forecourts this autumn.
The work, backed by £9.3m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, comes as Nissan looks to extend its record-breaking Sunderland factory by 25,000sq metres to increase production line space, and just six months after the firm invested £420m into the plant to make the ground-breaking Nissan Leaf electric car.
John Martin, Nissan’s senior-vice president for manufacturing in Europe, said the new Note, which boasts on board devices alerting drivers to blind spots and moving objects, was a major coup for the company's North-East operations.
He said: “The fact remains that the staff here continue to secure car after car for production at this plant in the face of relentless opposition from overseas.
“This investment is further endorsement of Sunderland, which is now an international benchmark for productivity and quality, and comes from the hard work and consistently high performance by staff.
“We made just over 500,000 of the first Note, and the new model, complete with its new technology, will go up against the Polo and Fiesta.
“We are going from strength to strength.”
The work comes after Nissan earlier this month revealed pictures of its new Infinity luxury model, which it will make at Sunderland from 2015.
The car, built to compete against renowned marques Audi, BMW and Mercedes, is part of a £250m investment creating about 280 direct jobs and hundreds in the supply chain.
It will become the first brand new car to me made in the UK on this scale for 23 years and Nissan will have the capacity to make 60,000 a year.
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