Production of the new JUKE compact crossover car begins at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, where the new vehicle is expected to safeguard 1,100 jobs.
Nissan Sunderland begins production of the new Juke SUV / sports car crossover vehicle today (Thursday August 26). Strong demand for the car is expected to safeguard 1,100 jobs directly at the plant and an estimated 2,000 further jobs across the car firm’s supply base.
More than 22,500 pre-orders across Europe since the order books opened in June indicates that the new model is expected to replicate the success of the Qashqai, its bigger cousin.
Sunderland expects to produce up to 100,000 units each year making it the plant’s second highest volume model behind the successful Qashqai. Nissan says the Juke, which goes on sale across Europe next month, offers a dynamic alternative to the traditional hatchback.
The JUKE model represents £57 million of investment in the Sunderland factory. A £6.2 million Grant for Business Investment from the UK Government was crucial in establishing the project, Nissan says.
The Japanese car company is forecasting potential production volume of more than 400,000 units for the 2010 financial year which, if realised, would be a plant record.
“JUKE provides a much needed breath of fresh air within the small car segment and will play a key role in defining the Nissan brand in the years ahead,” said Trevor Mann, Nissan senior vice president of manufacturing.
“Congratulations to the Sunderland workforce for earning the right to produce what is their sixth new model in eight years. I would also like to thank both national and local government for their support, as well as the continued efforts of our all our suppliers.”
Sunderland will ramp up to full production volume of the model over two weeks, a plant record, to ensure that European dealers are fully stocked. The majority of JUKEs produced in Sunderland will be exported into mainland Europe with the remainder destined for dealers across the UK and Ireland.
JUKE will be available in two-wheel drive versions, as well as an all-wheel drive model manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan, which also supplies JUKE to the domestic Japanese market, the US and overseas markets.
Nissan Sunderland Plant Facts
• Established in 1984 (start of production 1986)
• Total investment in plant to date: £2.68 bn (Eu2.99bn)
• Total volume since start of production: 5.6 million units
• Total 2009 volume: 338,000 units
• Current workforce: 4,900 employees
• UK’s largest car producer and exporter
• Produced 1 in 3 cars built in the UK in 2009