Around 130,000 will be produced in Sunderland, alongside the Note, Primera, Micra and Micra C+C, potentially increasing total annual volume to around 400,000 units by the end of 2007 – a plant record.
Vice president of UK Manufacturing Trevor Mann says: “This is a very important day for our plant as Qashqai will spearhead Nissan’s drive for sustained, profitable growth in Europe.
“I would like to thank both national and local government and regional development agencies for their continued support, as well as the unstinting efforts of all our suppliers.”
Nissan has invested £218m in the Qashqai at Sunderland and production of the new model has secured more than 3,000 jobs at the plant and within the regional supply chain. It has also created 200 temporary and 100 trainee posts.
Around 80% of Qashqai production will be exported, the majority for sale within Europe. The car will also be shipped to numerous overseas markets such as the Middle East, Australia, South Africa as well as Japan – making it only the second Sunderland-built model to be exported to the Japanese market. The first being the 1996 model Primera.
The car will ramp up to full production volume in four weeks, ensuring dealers are fully stocked ready for the car’s sale date at the end of February 2007, priced from £13,499 to £16,199.
Customers will be able to choose between three trim grades and four engine options. Two petrol units, a 1.6- and 2.0-litre, will be available in February, as will a 1.5 diesel. A new 2.0 diesel engine will join the line up from April 2007.