After a meeting between the president and chief executive office of Nissan Motor Co, Carlos Ghosn and the Prime Minister David Cameron, it has been announced that the next generation Nissan QASHQAI will be designed, engineered and built in Britain.
The announcement means 6000 direct and indirect jobs will be safeguarded. The new Nissan QASHQAI represents a £192 million investment in Britain and will be funded completely by Nissan. Currently, the Nissan asuqau is the highest-volume car produced in the UK, seeing 80% export levels.
The development will begin at Nissan's European Design Centre in Paddington, London. The finished design will then be passed to engineers from the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. Finally, the new car will be built at the Sunderland manufacturing facility.
Making the announcement outside 10 Downing Street, Carlos Ghosn said: "The UK has been a cornerstone of Nissan manufacturing since 1986, with the Sunderland plant setting important benchmarks for quality and efficiency in Europe and around the world. It's the home of the QASHQAI, one of Nissan's biggest product successes. And as Nissan's leadership in sustainable transportation grows, the plant will become one of the pillars of our zero-emission manufacturing."
Nissan is also investing £420 million in the Sunderland plant, in order to develop the Nissan LEAF for 2013, and in a new stand-alone facility where lithium-ion batteries for Renault and Nissan vehicles will be produced from 2012.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This investment from Nissan is fantastic news and a great demonstration of the strength and vitality of the UK car industry. That future manufacturing and R&D has been secured is a tribute to the skill, expertise and hard work of Nissan's UK workforce.
"It is vital that we have a strong manufacturing base to rebalance our economy and secure sustainable economic growth, and it is this Government's determination that we do all we can to enable businesses to invest, to grow and create jobs.
"I have seen first hand the tremendous work at the Nissan Sunderland plant; this is a great day for them, the whole of the North East and for UK manufacturing too."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Today's announcement is welcome news that brings further long-term investment in what is already the UK's biggest car production plant. Nissan's Sunderland plant is one of the great success stories of British manufacturing. Development of the QASHQAI and other new models will reinforce that."
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