AM Online

Infiniti prestige hatchback to be built at Sunderland

Infiniti has confirmed that it will manufacture vehicles in Europe from parent Nissan’s award winning production base in Sunderland.

Sunderland will build Infiniti's compact car, which it hopes will rival the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class when it launches in 2015.

It will have capacity to produce 60,000 Infinitis each year.

The decision pushes out the previously announced Nissan C-segment car, based on the Tiida hatchback, which Nissan had said last April would be built at Sunderland from 2014.

The budget-priced Tiida is currently built in Mexico and imported into Europe. One major UK dealer group imported Tiidas from Ireland to sell to its former Almera customers.

Infiniti's announcement is expected to secure 1,000 more jobs at Sunderland and in the supply chain.

Colin Dodge CBE, Nissan Motor Co's executive vice president and chief performance officer, said: "This milestone, our first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland, reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant, which is moving up the value chain.

"Just as important, the new Infiniti, which will be exported around the world, is being developed with help from our London design centre and our European Technical Centre at Cranfield."

The exciting all-new premium entry compact Infiniti model is expected to be produced from 2015 and will allow the company to compete within the heart of the premium segment for the first time, underlining the brand’s ambition to become a major worldwide competitor.

When production begins, Infiniti will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale in 23 years.

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