Northern News

Nissan Sunderland Produces its 11 Millionth Car

Nissan has announced that its Sunderland plant has produced its 11 millionth car, 37 years after its line started in July 1986.

Unsurprisingly the landmark car was a Nissan Qashqai, which is by far the most-produced vehicle at the factory despite only launching in 2006, with more than four million examples produced since then. It was the UK’s best-selling new car in 2022 — the first British-built car to claim that record in a quarter of a century.

The blade silver Qashqai e-power — which features a three-cylinder petrol engine to power the battery for the 140kW electric motor that drives the front wheels — took around 8.5 hours to build. That’s just over a third of the time it took for Sunderland to build “Job 1” in 1986: a white Nissan Bluebird.

Across the last 37 years, Nissan Sunderland has produced Almera, Leaf, Juke, Micra, Note, and Primera models, as well as the Qashqai and Bluebird, and the Mercedes-based Q30 and QX30 for sibling brand Infiniti.

Four of these models have broken past the million mark, with the Micra at 2.37m the second-most produced car and the Primera and still-produced Juke on 1.48m and 1.3m respectively.

While it’s taken Sunderland close to four years to move from 10 million to 11 million cars, its lifetime average is around one vehicle every 108 seconds; the facility was producing half a million vehicles a year from 2012-2019.

Nissan employs around 6,000 people at Sunderland itself, with another 30,000 jobs in the UK in the factory’s supply chain; around five million parts arrive at the factory each day.

Currently Nissan is looking to support Sunderland with a new 12GWh “gigafactory” building vehicle batteries through partner Envision AESC, with a new electric vehicle set to enter production in the near future.