Saturday, 24 January 2015

Nissan makes most UK vehicles

Nissan’s Sunderland plant made the most cars in the UK last year.

Associates and managers put in extra effort (despite earlier-in-the-year plant shutdowns) to just tip the number over the 500,000 mark, fearing they could be pipped at the post by JaguarLandRover (JLR).

The factory’s total of 500,238 was higher than the 449,507 produced by JaguarLand Rover and BMW’s 178,993 at Plant Oxford producing the Mini.

The numbers were unveiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), as it announced the number of cars rolling off UK production lines hit a seven-year high to reach 1.5 million; equivalent to a car being made every 20s in the UK in 2014.

The SMMT also said the year ended with the strongest December in a decade, with 108,000 cars produced last month.

The top car makers were: Nissan, Sunderland: 500,238; JaguarLandRover, Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull: 449,507; Mini, Plant Oxford: 178,993; Toyota, Burneston Derby: 172,215; Honda, Swindon: 121,799, and Vauxhall, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire: 77,836.

 “More than £7 billon of investment into UK production facilities has been announced in the past two years, and we are now seeing the effects as new models begin production, with more expected in 2015, stated Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive.”

Nissan will play an important part in those new designs, with the firm now recruiting 280 staff and extending its Wearside plant to make the sporty Infiniti Q30 model. JLR too will see its XE model swing into production.

The Q30 vehicle will become the first Sunderland-built model exported to the US, with managers expecting the plant to make up to 60,000 a year.

Earlier this week, Prince Charles visited the site to meet workers and walked the production line to find out about the company's all-electric Leaf hatchback

This year’s figures will be crucial if the Sunderland plant is to hold onto the title it has held unsurpassed for so long.

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