Production of new Leaf car begins at Nissan plant in Sunderland
Production of the new Nissan Leaf electric car is underway at the car giant's Sunderland plant today.
It means that the countdown has now started to the first customers receiving their vehicles in February.
Embodying Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision, the new model has been reinvented to offer greater range, dynamic design, advanced driver assistance technologies and enhanced connectivity, say bosses.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan Europe Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing, said: “Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving.
“We're excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan LEAF to European markets from February.”
The Leaf has been in production in the UK since 2013 for European markets, with more than 85,000 units sold in Europe since 2011, when the first deliveries began from Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan.
Following an initial investment of Â£420million, the introduction of the new Nissan LEAF has been supported by a further Â£36million investment in Nissan Sunderland Plant, supporting more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in the UK supply chain.
The start of production follows the new Nissan LEAF’s first major international awards last month, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) annual CES Unveiled ceremony in New York, presented by the Consumer Technology Association. LEAF was awarded CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology, and CES honoree for Tech for a Better World.
Nissan Sunderland also manufactures the crossover cars Qashqai and Juke and the Infiniti brand’s Q30 and QX30 models.
Last year the plant celebrated its 30th anniversary, and this year total volume surpassed nine million vehicles, cementing its position as the biggest UK car plant of all time.