Nissan plant to build luxury model
CAR GIANT Nissan is to build a new luxury model in the UK, creating 1,000 jobs with a £250 million investment.
The new global model will be manufactured at the Japanese firm's plant in Sunderland, which employs 6,000 workers.
The car, built under Nissan's Infinity premium brand, is set to be produced from 2015. It will be developed with help from Nissan's design centre in London and technical centre in Cranfield and then exported around the world, the firm said. Around 280 of the new jobs will be in Sunderland, with the rest in other sites across the country.
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 be manufactured elsewhere, said the company.
The North East plant will build more than half a million cars this year, the first UK manufacturer to achieve this milestone.
Colin Dodge, Nissan's executive vice-president and chief performance officer, 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, who will attend a ceremony in Sunderland to mark the announcement, said: "Sunderland will be the only place in the world to make this new premium compact car."
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This investment is excellent news for the North East and another vote of confidence for UK manufacturing. The continued success of Nissan in the UK demonstrates the strength of the car industry here - and its importance - as we rebalance and grow the economy.
"This announcement shows how the car industry in partnership with the Government continues to win important long term investment projects in a tough competitive sector, helping the UK to get ahead in the global race."