Car giant Nissan has announced plans to build a new luxury model in the UK, creating up to 1,000 jobs with a £250m investment.
A new global car model will be manufactured at the Japanese firm’s plant in Sunderland, which currently employs 6,000 workers. Roughly 280 of the new jobs will be in Sunderland, with more in other sites across the country.
The car will be built under Nissan’s Infiniti premium brand and production will commence in 2015. It will be developed with help from the company’s design centre in London and technical centre in Cranfield and then exported across the world.
Because of capacity limitations at Sunderland, securing the new Infiniti will mean that a C-segment hatchback previously announced for the plant in April will now be manufactured elsewhere, the company has confirmed.
The north east plant is expected to build more than half a million cars this year, the first UK manufacturer to achieve this milestone.
Today’s news is a strong endorsement of the quality of Britain’s car industry Vince Cable
Colin Dodge, Nissan’s executive vice-president and chief performance officer has said: “This milestone, our first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland, reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant which is moving up the value chain.
“Just as important, the new Infiniti, which will be exported around the world, is being developed with help from our London design centre and our European Technical Centre.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable has welcomed the move: “Sunderland will be the only place in the world to make this new premium compact car.
“Nissan in the UK goes from strength to strength. Not only will the new car be made here and exported all over the world, the UK has already contributed to its design and development.
“Today’s news is a strong endorsement of the quality of Britain’s car industry which is creating jobs, taking on apprentices and contributing to building a stronger economy.
“The auto sector is living up to being one of the great success stories of our industrial strategy and a testimony to government and private sector working together in close partnership.”