Nissan is to invest a further £2.4 million in its Sunderland plant, to increase QASHQAI production.

The cash injection will help boost QASHQAI volume by the 20% needed to keep pace with customer demand for the compact crossover, launched in December last year.

Since then, more than 60,000 units have rolled off the line, with approximately a further 130,000 forecast before the end of the 2007 financial year.

The additional investment will be used to make facility improvements on the QASHQAI line, which is working to fulfil excellent demand for the car right across Europe - the order bank for the European region is now approaching 60,000 units.

QASHQAI, which recently scored a maximum 5-stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) adult occupant safety test, is also proving to be a big hit in Japan, where sales started last week.

Although Japanese sales were initially targeted at 2,000 units per month, the car - renamed Dualis in Japan - has received more than 5,000 orders within its first week of sale.

Sunderland Plant’s Deputy Managing Director Kevin Fitzpatrick commented: “QASHQAI is proving extremely popular and will help us achieve a record production year in ’07.

“Supporting this level of customer demand is very challenging and our manufacturing employees deserve a lot of credit for how hard they are working, but this is the kind of challenge every car plant should welcome.

“The additional investment from Japan will complement the measures we are introducing here such as moving NOTE production onto our second line in September, to free up capacity for QASHQAI.”

Published : 13/06/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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