The Nissan car manufacturing plant in Sunderland, England, has just produced its millionth Qashqai after just over four years of manufacturing.
The plant, which produces an average of 1,200 Qashqais per day over three shifts, runs for 24 hours a day to meet the demand for the crossover car. More than 80 per cent of Qashqai production is exported to 97 markets worldwide.
The landmark millionth car rolled off the production line just four years, six months and 23 days after production started on the 5th December 2006. No other UK-built car has reached the million mark in such a short space of time.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, praised the work of everyone involved in the production chain:
“The Nissan Qashqai has been a phenomenal success since its start of production just four and a half years ago… and producing one million in such a short space of time is a fantastic achievement, not just by staff at the Sunderland Plant, but also by the designers and engineers who developed such a popular car and our dealer network who have helped to generate such high demand.”
Only two previous models have passed the million production mark at the Nissan Sunderland Plant; the Nissan Micra (2.3 million units produced from 1992-2010) and the Nissan Primera (1.4 million units produced from 1990-2007).
The Nissan Sunderland Plant also produces the Note mini-MPV and the Juke. It will manufacture the 100% electric Nissan LEAF from 2013.
Two weeks ago Nissan’s President and Chief Executive, Carlos Ghosn, met with the British Prime Minister David Cameron, to tell him that the next version of the Qashqai will be designed, engineered and built in the UK, taking the total Nissan investment in the UK for Qashqai past £422 million.
UK Business Minister Mark Prisk underlined the importance of the renewed investment for UK manufacturing:
“The Qashqai is a success story for both Nissan and the UK. With the millionth car coming off the production line, the Sunderland, Cranfield and Paddington workforce should take great pride in its popularity.”
“It’s great news that they will be able to build on their success with the recent announcement that the UK has been chosen to design, engineer and build the new Qashqai model.”
The total number of people in the UK whose employment depends on the Nissan plant exceeds 6,000 people – reinforcing the crucial part the car industry plays in the British economy.
In total, over 1 million cars and more than 2 million engines are produced in Britain across all car and component manufacturers, and the majority of the top motorsport teams – including Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship – are based in the UK too.
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s most productive automotive facilities making cars that are in demand across the globe.”
The millionth Qashqai, a silver diesel model, is being displayed in The O2 Arena in London, UK, before being given away in a competition.