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'Qash' injection boosts Nissan production

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

The Japanese manufacturer said the cash injection will help boost Qashqai volume by the 20% needed to keep pace with customer demand.

Since the compact crossover went in sale in December, more than 60,000 units have rolled off the line, with 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. Nissan says the order bank for the European region is now approaching 60,000 units.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s Sunderland plant deputy managing director, said: “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.”

Nissan’s Sunderland plant has also been chosen to be one of its two global training centres for manufacturing excellence by its parent company in Japan.

Production supervisors from Nissan facilities across Europe, India, The Middle East and South Africa will come to Sunderland to learn how to become ‘master trainers’ in all aspects of lean car production.

They will then return to their own countries and train their workforce up to a global standard skill level.

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