Thursday, 20 Dec 2012
Nissan announces Infiniti boost for North East
The new car will be part of the Infiniti brand and will go into production at the firm's plant in Sunderland from 2015.
It is a massive vote of confidence in the car-maker's North East plant, which employs 6,000 people and is set to reach the landmark of building more than 500,000 cars this year - the first UK-based plant to do so.
The new model will generate 1,000 new jobs, with 280 based in Sunderland and the rest at other sites across the UK.
Nissan's London design centre and Cranfield technical centre will also be working on the car, which will be exported around the world.
Due to capacity limitations at the site in Sunderland, the new Infiniti will replace the C-segment hatchback that was announced for the plant. That vehicle will now be manufactured elsewhere.
Colin Dodge, Nissan's executive vice-president and chief performance officer outlined how the decision to build the car demonstrates how the firm holds the North East plant in high regard.
"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," he said.
"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 to mark the announcement, explained that Nissan is growing from "strength to strength" in the UK.
He explained how the new model will show off Britain's expertise from design through to manufacturing when it goes on sale across the world.
"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," he said.
"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."
© Press Association 2012