WEARSIDE workers took centre stage at an international motor show as Nissan unveiled its latest new-look models.
The team from the car giant’s factory in Washington joined bosses at the Geneva Motor Show to officially launch the revamped Note and Leaf, both made at the plant.
Speaking at the event in Switzerland, Andy Palmer, executive vice- president of Nissan Motor Co, said: “We are very proud of our vehicles and our technologies, but none of this would be possible without our people, the dedicated men and women who work in our offices and plants across Europe, so we’ve invited 10 of the production team from Sunderland who are going to build the new Note and Leaf.”
The Note will see the first use in a small family car of the company’s new Safety Shield, previously only available on premium-sector models, and features a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning and moving object detection system which use data from a wide-view rear camera. It is also the first car in its segment to offer Around View Monitor, Nissan’s multi-camera parking aid which displays an image of the car and its surroundings as seen from above on a dashboard screen.
Paul Willcox, senior vice-president of sales and marketing Nissan in Europe, said: “At Nissan, we aim to make smart innovation accessible to everyone, to bring premium technologies, relevant and useful technologies to as many of our customers as possible.”
The upgraded Leaf, the first mass- market 100 per cent electric car, includes a string of improvements.
Using the latest technology, it can be charged in up to half the time, and the driving range has increased to 199km.
The firm has also redesigned the chassis to improve handling, as well as repackaging the car to improve space.
“We are clearly committed to zero-emission mobility,” said Mr Willcox. “Quick-charging infrastructure has more than tripled in the last year.
“Nissan dealers selling Leaf in Europe have grown from under 200 to 1,400 in the past 12 months.”