To keep up with the high demand for its Qashqai crossover, Nissan announced the increase of the production capacity at the automaker’s UK plant.
Qashqai is a massive sales hit for Nissan, as it is the company’s most-wanted car in Europe and also the best-selling model in the segment on the continent. The automaker recently said it built more Qashqai crossovers than any other car in its three decades of European production, as the output at the Sunderland plant in the UK has surpassed the previous highest single-name manufacturing total. The demand is so high that apparently is not enough to produce 300,000 cars every year on Line 1 at the Sunderland facility, at a round-the-clock output for a build rate of one car every minute. Therefore, Nissan plans an additional £22 million (€29 million) investment to uncork supply to its European customers by modifying Line 2 to introduce more Qashqais. The first extra vehicles are scheduled to enter the line before the end of 2016, ahead of the next phase in Qashqai’s development in 2017.
“This additional capacity will give us free supply of Qashqai for the first time, ahead of the launch of a refreshed Qashqai equipped with Piloted Drive technology from next year,” said Colin Lawther, Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Manufacturing in Europe. Nissan builds the c-segment Qashqai and the all-electric Nissan Leaf on Line 1 in Sunderland, which operates on a three-shift basis. Line 2 production currently includes the Nissan Juke b-segment crossover, Nissan Note and Infiniti Q30 premium compact, and will continue to operate on a two-shift basis.