Nissan invest in the UK and the Qashqai

A fresh boost was given to the British car industry yesterday as Nissan will build a new version of the popular Qashqai and the plans were unveiled that will result in safeguarding thousands of workers jobs. The Japanese auto giant said the decision amounted to a £192 million investment and was a direct endorsement of the quality of products made in Britain and of its workers and factories.

The hi-tech plant in Sunderland has for four years been building the Qashqai SUV and will produce its millionth model in June with over 80% of production being exported. London is where the new design will be created before going to the Nissan technical plant in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

Then is will be built at the Tyne and Wear plant where the Juke and Note models are produced. The announcement was made by chief executive of Nissan Carlos Ghosn while at a meeting at Downing Street with the Prime Minister.

He said that the cornerstone of Nissan manufacturing has been the UK since 1986 with important benchmarks set by the Sunderland plant for efficiency and quality both in Europe and the rest of the world. The chief executive said 6,000 jobs would be safeguarded by the investment both directly and indirectly.

The government was pleased to hear of the announcement as it fits well with their strategy of rebalancing the economy on more of a path towards manufacturing which amount to only about 15% of the total GDP. Even though the car industry throughout Britain is predominately foreign owned with makers like Toyota, BMW-owned Mini and Nissan plants, it employs close to 700,000 and generates in just exports, over £25 billion.