Planning permission has been granted for a new production unit at Nissan’s Wearside plant as the car giant ploughs £250m into making a new car.
A new production area - measuring 25,000m sq - will help the Washington factory build the Infiniti motor. The move will put in place a programme that is set to create more than 1,000 jobs across the country.
Specialist equipment will be housed in the new plant to build the Q30 Concept vehicle which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.
Construction work is expected to begin in weeks after planning approval was granted by Sunderland City Council’s Development Control Committee.
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.”
The Japanese car-maker is pumping millions into manufacturing the Infiniti car that will be made from 2015 and shipped across Europe and Britain.
It is the first time in 23 years that a new car brand has been produced on such a scale in this country, and will spark the creation of 280 jobs at Nissan’s Washington factory. Another 720 jobs will be created at component companies supplying Nissan with a string of local companies set to benefit.
“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, Vice President, 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.
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.