Japanese premium brand Infiniti has started building work on the production facility that will build the new Q30 hatchback at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in 2015.
Nissan is investing £250 million in the venture and is hoping the new model can compete with the premium C-segment against models like the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The factory expansion is set to create 1,000 jobs at Sunderland and in its UK suppliers, including 280 new jobs at the Sunderland Plant, with the company’s Design Centre in Paddington and Technical Centre in Cranfield also involved in the Q30’s development.
Fintan Knight, vice president for Infiniti Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “This is a significant step for the Infiniti brand as we establish manufacturing here.
“The design centre in Paddington, the Technical Centre in Cranfield and the ongoing partnership with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team in Milton Keynes testify to our strong link with the UK.
“Our investment here amplifies the brand’s presence in Europe, one of the key markets for Infiniti, but provides clear intent as we gear up for sales of the compact premium Q30 in 2015. Infiniti is committed to growing its product offering over the coming years as we challenge the traditional premium offerings.”
The new facilities, for the Q30 body assembly and final assembly,will cover 25,000 metre squared of new production space, with construction and facility installation due to be completed in time for the Q30 launch in 2015.