- Spain gears up to build all-electric e-NV200, which debuts at Geneva Motor Show
- Russia anticipates the launch of Datsun brand, new models
- UK works round-the-clock on key new models including top-selling Qashqai
ROLLE, Switzerland – Fourteen new model launches and a total industrial investment of over 2 billion euros is set to propel Nissan's European production to record levels in 2014, according to Nissan chief planning officer and executive vice president Andy Palmer. He will take center stage at the Geneva Motor Show March 4 when Nissan details its latest developments in Europe and to its innovative product line-up.
High demand for Nissan products, plus a raft of new and revised vehicles, means that the UK plant is working round-the-clock and that Nissan's plants in Spain and Russia are readying to produce multiple new models. Nissan built 675,077 vehicles in Europe last year, a number expected to be topped in 2014 as the company continues towards its goal of being the Number One Asian brand in Europe.
"More Nissan vehicles than ever now have been manufactured, designed and engineered in Europe, and for Europe," said Andy Palmer, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Corporation. "With input from Nissan Technical Center Europe and cutting-edge design from Nissan Design Europe, we are building innovative products that lead their segments and technology and desirability."
The past year has seen Nissan's Sunderland Plant take center stage, introducing electric vehicle manufacturing to Europe with the Nissan LEAF before launching the new Nissan Note and the company's flagship new Qashqai.
Now, 2014 is set to be led by Nissan's Spanish and Russian operations. In Barcelona Nissan is gearing up for production of its second all-electric entry, the all-electric e-NV200, with the production version of this light commercial vehicle greeting the public for the first time at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Nissan will also reinforce its command of the crossover segment through the brand's unrivalled crossover family, including the X-Trail and Qashqai.
On the strength of its refreshed model line-up, Nissan now employs more than 50,000 people in its operations and dealer body across Europe.
Last year, some 80 percent of all Nissan vehicles sold in Europe were built in Europe, a region where Nissan has built more than 10 million vehicles in the 30 years it has been producing vehicles for 30 years.
And there's more to come. Production has just started at its Avila, Spain, plant of the all-new NT500 light truck while the Barcelona plant soon will begin production of an all-new C-segment hatchback alongside e-NV200. Barcelona also is gearing up for the start of production of a new One Ton pick-up.
Russia, meanwhile, is preparing for the launch of the Datsun brand with two new models, while at the same time as increasing production of the Nissan Almera at Togliatti, an AVTOVAZ Alliance production facility.
Round-the-clock production has been introduced at Sunderland in the UK where, in addition to Qashqai, Juke, Note and LEAF, the site also builds the battery cells for both Nissan LEAF and e-NV200.
Nissan at the Geneva Motor Show also showcases Nissan's incredible diversity. From zero emissions to the GT-R NISMO, Nissan is demonstrating an unrivalled passion for design, engineering and innovation. The Sunderland-built Nissan LEAF, now in its second generation, is the world's best-selling electric vehicle with more than 100,000 examples sold globally.
It will be joined at Geneva by e-NV200's Nissan's second all-electric vehicle. Based on the multi award-winning NV200 light van and people carrier, e-NV200 is ready to revolutionize urban delivery and taxi businesses.
With an eye toward the future, the company also will be showing its ground-breaking autonomous car as well as its latest ZEOD (Zero-Emissions On Demand) Le Mans racer, proving that electric vehicles can be every bit as thrilling as conventional cars.
"Our top-selling models backed by a phalanx of significant new launches will ensure that Nissan's European production will reach unprecedented heights in 2014 and keep us on target to reach our goal of becoming Europe's number one Asian brand in 2016," said Palmer.
A total of €430 million has been invested in Nissan's three plants in Spain, which are ready to launch four new vehicles in 2014 and 2015. The arrival of e-NV200 and the forthcoming C-segment hatchback means that the Barcelona plant will be nearing full capacity, and once the One Ton pickup arrives it will produce 200,000 vehicles annually. Barcelona also builds NV200, Pathfinder, Navara and the Nissan Primastar, which is also sold as the Renault Trafic and Opel Vivaro.
While Avila is already producing NT500 alongside Cabstar, now called the NT400, investment in the Cantabria machining plant has allowed it to increase its contribution to Nissan's European models by producing brake discs and steering knuckles for models such as Qashqai, Note and LEAF.
Within the next four years, Nissan is aiming to triple its sales in Russia to claim a market share of at least 10 percent; it is one of the few markets in the world that sells Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti vehicles.
Moreover, by 2016, up to 80 percent of those sales will be built locally creating jobs both within Nissan and the wider supplier base. Expansion is already underway with investments including €167 million to double capacity at St Petersburg and €60 million to introduce a new production line at Togliatti.
In 2015, the new Qashqai will join production of the X-Trail, Teana and Murano in St. Petersburg, along with another model, still to be announced. The launch of the Datsun brand to Russia will see two new models being produced at Togliatti as part of a joint venture with AVTOVAZ, where the Nissan Almera also is built.
It was 30 years ago that Nissan broke ground in Sunderland on what is now among its top manufacturing plants globally. The plant, now on 24-hour operation, produced more than half a million vehicles in both 2012 and 2013 and has built more than 500,000 JUKEs since production started in 2010. More than 7.5 million cars have been built at Sunderland in those three decades.
Now employing more than 7,000 staff – plus more than 29,000 employed by suppliers – Sunderland took on 1,400 people in the last 12 months to manage demand for the products built there: Qashqai, Juke, new Note and LEAF.
Another milestone will be reached in Sunderland with the production of the plant's 2 millionth Qashqai. And 2015 will see yet another first: the start of production of first Europe-built Infiniti, the Q30.
"The success of Nissan as a global company is helped by local production, which is vital to ensure our products meet the needs of our customers," said Colin Lawther, senior vice president, Manufacturing. "The success of the models built in the UK, Spain and Russia show that Nissan's blend of excitement and innovation, allied to top quality and stunning design, is just what the market wants."
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