As it plans to produce models for its premium brand Infiniti from 2015, Nissan Motor Co has applied for permission to extend its factory at Sunderland in north-east England, already Britain’s largest car making plant.
The Japanese carmaker has asked Sunderland city council for permission to extend the factory by around 25,000 square feet (2,300 square metres), allowing it to enlarge its body and paint shops, as well as trim, chassis and press facilities.
“If approved, these extensions will support the continued growth of Nissan’s UK operations, reflecting the success of models manufactured in the UK including Qashqai, Juke, Note and the 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF,” said a Nissan spokesman.
“The main extensions proposed are to body shop and the trim and chassis building and are required for new production facilities.”
Production reaches now 500,000 units in the Sunderland plant, which made the first vehicle in 1986 and once production of the new models kicks off, capacity at the plant will “go beyond 550,000″, the spokesman said.
The Infiniti vehicles are now mostly built in Japan and Nissan said in May that due to a strong yen, they had contributed less than 1 percent of operating profit in the past two years. Nissan now plans to make the brand at its Xiangyang plant in China from next year and Sunderland from 2015.