Nissan has announced that a C-segment hatchback will be built at its Sunderland plant from 2014, in addition to existing production and the already announced Note replacement.
It will mean the addition of an extra shift at the assembly plant and will take its annual production above 500,000 units.
Sunderland currently assembles Qashqai, Juke, Qashqai+2 and the current Note, which will be replaced by a new car based on the Invitation concept shown at Geneva Motor Show last month.
Introduction of the Invitation, from 2013, Leaf also in 2013 and in 2014 the C-segment car, similar to the Mexican-built Tiida sold on mainland Europe, will result in more than 3,000 new jobs being created in the UK automotive sector within the next two years – 625 at Nissan and the remainder across the supply base.
The new hatchback, which will be named closer to its sales launch, marks Nissan’s return to the mainstream medium segment - its Qashqai crossover became its C-segment product after the Almera ended with limited success.
The car will play a major role in the company’s continued expansion under the ambitious ‘Nissan Power 88’ mid-term plan.
Nissan Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, said: “In Europe Nissan has achieved record growth in recent years by providing innovative, customer-focused models like Qashqai and Juke that are designed, developed and produced within the region."
He thanked the UK Government for its strong and sustained support which allows Nissan to continue making significant, long-term investment in the Sunderland operation.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building their new hatchback model in the UK and that they expect to create more than 1000 jobs at the Sunderland plant and in the supply chain across the country. It's proof of the strength and vitality of the British manufacturing industry that leading companies like Nissan are expanding their production in the UK.
More details about the new hatchback including pricing, engine line-up and equipment levels will be released closer to the car’s sales launch.