Saturday, 7 May 2016
Nissan dumps UK production of Note
At Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK profit-per-car is all important in upholding the plant’s financial performance.
Which may well explain why the company is ending production of its Note hatchback with Manufacturing coming to end by December of this year.
The move is hardly surprising as the Japanese carmaker carries out £22m modifications at its North-East plant to make more models of its best-selling Qashqai. As such the change will not affect workers at the 6,800-job Wearside factory.
According to Nissan, Note will no longer be sold in Europe as Nissan executives expect a new Micra model, to be produced in France, will aim to cover the Note’s marketplace absence.
The company’s Sunderland plant has made between 41,000 and 77,000 Notes a year since 2006, and in 2013 beat rival overseas factories to start making an updated version of the car, which boasts on-board devices, such as parking aids.
However, it is understood that Nissan its reconfiguring its Sunderland production lines to maintain strong Qashqai sales, confirming its other marques will be unaffected by the change.
As a result, Line 2, which produces Note, is being adapted to take on extra Qashqai work, as well as the next generation Juke hatchback and the upcoming luxury Infiniti Q30.
The factory’s Line 1, which already makes the Qashqai, will continue to do so, alongside work on the all-electric Leaf.
A Nissan spokesman said: “When the new Micra launches later this year it will become a key model, appealing to customers who may have previously considered a Note.
“This will mean Note production will end as we increase Qashqai capacity in our Sunderland plant. Following the launch of the new Micra, Note will no longer be sold in Europe but will remain an important model for Nissan in other markets,” he added.
The Qashqai is now the most successful model in the history of Nissan’s Sunderland factory, with more than two million models made in the region.
The plant produces about 1,200 Qashqais a day, with a new car built every 62s.
Advanced models, which will be fitted with an auto-pilot system, are due to come off Line 2 before the end of the year.
Nissan’s Sunderland factory is also responsible for overseeing the business’ bid to dominate the luxury car market, through the Infiniti Q30, which has delivered 300 jobs and is the first Wearside-built vehicle to be exported to the US.
Nissan could make up to 60,000 models a year through its £250 million venture on Infiniti, which is the company’s deluxe sister brand, as it targets the premium car sector, where rivals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes hold sway.
The North-East of England plant will also make the Infiniti QX30, further pulling in additional financial income.