Nissan is to launch a temporary third production shift at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland in response to continuing high demand for the Qashqai crossover vehicle.
Throughout 2009 the plant has been operating on two shifts but Nissan has revealed that sales of the Qashqai model have reached levels where demand is out-stripping supply.
The model will also be undergoing an extensive update, which will be launched in March, which the company hopes will continue its popularity. From May, a nightshift will be added to the Qashqai production line, although Nissan has acknowledged that the market will dictate how long the nightshift remains in operation. It is currently expected to be maintained for approximately a six month period.
Trevor Mann, Nissan Senior Vice President for Manufacturing, Europe said: “Nissan is committed to delivering customers’ cars as quickly as possible, and our staff in Sunderland has been working incredibly hard to achieve this.
“However, Qashqai continues to buck the trend of a generally depressed market, and we have now identified the need for an additional shift to cover a high volume request in the first half of the 2010 Financial Year. Doing so will allow us to get cars to our customers more quickly and also provide the significant increase to production needed to fill the delivery pipeline to our European dealer network.”
To support the additional shift, recruitment will begin next month for 400 new fixed-term manufacturing posts at the plant and allow retention of an existing 160 temporary staff. Nissan has said that it also anticipates that additional posts will also be created across its supply chain.