Demand for Nissan LEAF and Qashqai sees more than 500,000 cars produced in 2014

The Sunderland plant also this year expects to pass the milestone mark of eight million cars produced, since the site was established

The Nissan Qashqai in production in Sunderland
The Nissan Qashqai in production in Sunderland

Increasing demand for Japanese car maker Nissan’s 100% electric Nissan LEAF and continuing popularity of the Qashqai saw the company’s Sunderland plant produce more than 500,000 units for the third year running.

The Wearside facility has unveiled its production figures for 2014, which show 500,237 cars were built in the UK plant.

Overall, electric vehicle production at Sunderland doubled last year, with over 17,000 built and production at the UK battery plant increased further, as the facility also started supplying units for use in the all-electric e-NV200 van, built at Nissan’s Barcelona plant.

The firm, which currently employs 6,700 people, recently announced it will this year pass a milestone mark of eight million cars produced next year after racking up sales of more than £5bn.

The UK manufacturing arm of the Japanese giant unveiled the figure in its accounts for the year ended March 2014, with the £5.3bn sales figure including a rise of £356m on the turnover figure it recorded for the previous 12 months.

Nissan Leaf electric vehicles at Nissan in Washington
Nissan Leaf electric vehicles at Nissan in Washington
 

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice president for manufacturing in the UK, said: “Successfully launching the new Qashqai last January was key to the matching our record-breaking volumes of the previous two years. Increasing demand for the 100% electric LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, also has played a significant part.

“We are now looking ahead to another exciting year for the company and the historic launch of Infiniti production in Sunderland.

“The plant’s reputation for productivity and quality is driven by our workforce and I would like to thank and congratulate them all on another productive year.”

Last year was another record breaking year for the plant and less than eight years after inventing the crossover segment, the Nissan Qashqai made automotive history after production passed two million units.

Designed, engineered and built in the UK for European customers, the Qashqai reached its latest manufacturing milestone quicker than any other model in the history of the UK car industry.

Nissan’s productive offensive continued with the addition of the supercharged DIG-S engine to the Note line-up last February, as well as a revised new Juke going into production last June.

The year ended with the launch of the Juke Nismo RS boasting 218PS, the latest Nissan motorsports model to be built at the plant.

The second half of 2015 will see production of the Infiniti Q30 begin, which will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale in 23 years.

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