SUNDERLAND car plant Nissan is celebrating a motoring milestone.
The two millionth Qashqai came off the production line over the weekend, earning workers praise from both management and senior politicians.
The Qashqai model is made alongside the all-electric Leaf on Line 1 at the plant, which has been on round-the-clock, three-shift production since 2010, with a car rolling off the production line every 62 seconds, equating to 58 per hour.
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “The Qashqai is helping Nissan to go from strength to strength in Europe.
“Two million customers can’t be wrong.
“This is further evidence of their trust in our brand. Thank you to all of our loyal customers and I congratulate all my colleagues in Sunderland for reaching this latest milestone.
“The Qashqai is one of 12 new models we have launched in the past 12 months in Europe, which has given Nissan the strongest and most cohesive line-up in our history.”
The two millionth Qashqai to roll off the production line was a magnetic red model in the new n-tec grade, which is destined for a UK customer.
The Qashqai is now closing in on the Micra as the highest volume car in the history of Nissan Sunderland Plant, with 2,368,704 Micras made in Sunderland during an 18-year period from 1992 to 2010.
UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, said: “Nissan is one of the driving forces behind the UK’s world-renowned automotive industry.
“They employ more than 11,000 people across the UK and have invested more than £500million in the innovation, design and production of this car, directly supporting the local and national economies.
“The UK automotive industry is thriving.
“Last year, we increased our production to more than 1.5million cars in the UK – that’s a car rolling off the production line every 20 seconds.”
Of the two million Qashqais made in Sunderland since December 2006, 85 per cent (1,706,633) have been exported to 132 international markets, from the Congo to Qatar.
Total global production of the Qashqai now tops 2.5 million.