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Nissan announces £250mn UK investment drive


Carmaker’s Sunderland plant to manufacture small luxury car

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Global carmaker Nissan is to investment £250 million in its UK operations, it was announced on Wednesday.

The company said bulk of the investment, aimed at manufacturing a small luxury car in its Infiniti range, would be targeted at its Sunderland plant leading to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the area.

Furthermore, Nissan said that the planned model was designed by its London-based team and the prototype was engineered at its technical centre in Bedfordshire.

However, in order to make space for the production of the new Infiniti model, Nissan would now move part of the investment in its hatchback range to another factory either in Russia or Spain. The carmaket said it would produce up to 60,000 Infiniti cars per annum but refused to give a name to the new model.

It is thought the new model would be based on its Ethera concept vehicle which was first displayed at the Geneva motor show in 2011. The concept was a petrol-electric hybrid with a 2.5 litre 4-cylinder engine. The engine was being jointly developed with Daimler and Nissan’s alliance partner Renault.

Colin Dodge, chief performance officer at Nissan UK, said, "The Sunderland factory is very competitive. The investment will be made over the next two years and the new Infiniti will start rolling off the assembly line in 2015."

In response to Nissan's announcement, UK business secretary Vince Cable said, "This is a strong endorsement of the quality of UK'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," he added.

Nissan said its Sunderland plant is on schedule to become the first car factory in the UK to have produced more than 500,000 cars in one calendar year.

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Nissan announces £250mn UK investment drive
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