Nissan has started production of its new Juke compact crossover in Sunderland which will go on sale next month.
The Juke has already received over 22,500 pre-orders across Europe since order books opened in June.
Based on this, Sunderland expects to produce up to 100,000 units each year making it the plant’s second highest volume model behind the successful Qashqai.
Note and Qashqai +2 complete the Sunderland plant’s current model line-up, while the Nissan Leaf zero-emission electric car is confirmed for production from early 2013.
Juke represents a £57 million of investment in the Sunderland facility. Its arrival safeguards 1,100 jobs directly at the plant and an estimated 2,000 additional posts across Nissan’s supply base. A £6.2m Grant for Business Investment from the UK Government was crucial in supporting the project.
It is expected Juke will contribute to a potential production volume of more than 400,000 units for the 2010 financial year which, if realised, would be a plant record.
Sunderland will ramp up to full Juke production volume in just two weeks, which Nissan believes will help get UK dealers ready for the car’s start of sales towards the end of September.
The majority of Jukes produced in Sunderland will be exported into mainland Europe with the remainder destined for dealers across the UK and Ireland.
Customers will be able to choose from three trim grades and three engines, including a 188bhp flagship turbocharged option.
Like the Qashqai, the Juke will be available in two-wheel drive versions as well as the range-topping all-wheel drive model produced at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan, which also supplies Juke to the domestic Japanese market, the US and overseas markets.