Nissan’s Sunderland plant, the UK’s largest car-assembly facility, produced more than 500,000 cars in 2013, exceeding the half a million mark for the second year running.
Figures due for release later this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders are expected to show that, in 2013, UK car plants built more than 1.5 million cars for the first time since 2007.
If output levels continue their rebound from recession, the SMMT estimates that in 2017 UK total car output could pass the 1.92 million all-time record notched up in 1972 – an era when UK car imports, and exports, were far lower.
Nissan’s Sunderland site, in line with other UK car plants, currently exports 80 % of output. The £3.5 billion plant, which began production in 1986, now employs more than 6,500 people, a record in its history, and supplies 130 markets.
Last year’s output is slightly lower than the 510,572 cars made in 2012 because, in 2013, it introduced production of two new vehicles – the all-electric Leaf and the Note – and also ramped up for full production, which is about to start, of the upgraded Qashqai.
Later this month the site will begin round-the-clock production on both its lines for the first time, increasing the likelihood that 2014 could set a new Sunderland output record. Work has also begun on a plant extension for production of the Infiniti Q30, a premium brand, from 2015.
Via Financial Times