Following a £100 million investment, Nissan’s Sunderland plant has started production of the new Juke — a second-generation compact crossover developed by the group’s European design and R&D teams in Paddington (London) and Cranfield (Bedfordshire); 70% of Juke production will be for EU markets, with two thirds of its suppliers based in the EU.
Visiting the Sunderland plant to oversee the final stages of preparation for the launch, Nissan Europe’s chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, said: “Thirty-five years ago, Nissan decided to create a plant in the UK to serve our European markets.
“Ten million vehicles later, Sunderland is the biggest UK car plant in history, with more than 35,000 jobs supported by Nissan in the UK.”
In addition to more than 5,000hr of training for the plant’s production team before the launch, the factory required upgrades to deliver the new Juke’s “suite of advanced technology and high levels of interior and exterior personalisation”.
This included: more than 27 new die sets, which cut and form the car’s ultra-high-tensile steel structure and body; and four new spray booths that have been built in the paint shop to accommodate the choice of 15 different two-tone body colour combinations that customers can now choose from.
The new Juke is powered by a 117PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder DIG-T turbocharged petrol engine, which is manufactured in Sunderland.
To support the production of the new Juke (www.nissan-global.com
), extra manufacturing staff will be needed on the plant’s Production Line Two.
In a restructuring of the production schedule, these staff will transfer from Production Line One, with both lines operating on a two-shift pattern.
The overall head-count at the plant will remain the same. Sales in European markets will start at the end of November.