On Monday (19th September) the Micra C+C, Nissan Sunderland’s newest model, will begin rolling off the production line.
The very first car, a silver 1.6 litre petrol, Sport grade, will come off the line at around 08.30 and is destined for a customer in the UK.
The C+C is a truly home-grown product as it was designed at London-based Nissan Design Europe, developed at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Bedfordshire, and will be built by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd in Sunderland.
It represents a £95 million investment, taking the total investment by Nissan in the Sunderland plant to over £2.1 billion.
Nissan is targeting 20,000 annual sales of the stylish coupe/convertible, which features a folding glass roof that can be raised or lowered into the trunk, at the touch of a button, in just 22 seconds.
This roof module is being produced by specialist German supplier Karmann GmbH, which, in a first for both companies, has set up a ‘factory within a factory’ inside Nissan’s Final Assembly Shop.
The C+C will be built largely down the existing Micra line. All the metal elements of the roof frame will be delivered and painted with the car before being separated and sent to the Karmann facility.
Here, the frame will be covered with the roof’s glass panels and assembled as a complete module before being reunited with the original car.
Dr Christian Rennert, Key Account Manager, International Markets for Karmann explained: "For reasons of quality control and speed of manufacture, we have established a dedicated production facility within the Nissan plant where we will run two shifts a day and employ up to 50 people."
Colin Dodge, Managing Director of the Sunderland plant commented: "The C+C started life as a design exercise for the 2002 Paris Motor Show. That concept car received such a favourable reaction from the public and motoring press that the decision was taken to make it a production reality.
"Nissan has never built a convertible car in Europe before and I’m delighted that our plant has been given the responsibility, and the challenge, of producing the C+C.
"Although the production volume will be relatively small compared to the other models we manufacture here, the C+C is a very important car for Nissan because of the boost it will give to the brand right across Europe."
Even though the C+C will be ramped up to full production volume in just 6 weeks - amongst the fastest in Europe, the Sunderland workforce won’t have time for a rest. Production trials have already begun for the NOTE mini-MPV, which will go into full production in January.
This will be followed in December 2006 by a production version of the QASHQAI concept, a compact ‘crossover’ car combining the best attributes of both a hatchback and 4x4.
Deliveries of the Micra C+C will begin in mid November with prices starting at £13,150.
C+C At A Glance
- Coupe/convertible with 2+2 seating
- Panoramic folding glass roof
- Auto-open roof - 22 seconds to raise or lower
- Class-leading luggage space
- Choice of 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines