The Nissan Qashqai has once again made automotive history after production at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK passed two million units in record time.
Less than eight years after Nissan pioneered the crossover segment, the Qashqai has reached its latest manufacturing milestone faster than any other model in the history of the UK car industry.
Designed and engineered in Europe, for Europe, the new Qashqai was conceived by Nissan experts at Nissan Design Europe (London, UK) and Nissan Technical Centre Europe (Cranfield, UK and Barcelona, Spain). Extensive input has also come from Nissan’s designers and engineers in Atsugi, Japan.
The Qashqai is no stranger to awards, the original model having notched up numerous industry accolades over the last seven years. This latest landmark caps a remarkable year for the new Qashqai, with the launch of the new generation model sparking a string of titles including What Car? magazine’s coveted Car of the Year.
Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan in Europe, talking with AutoLoud said: “The Nissan Qashqai goes from strength to strength as the original and best-selling Crossover in Europe. Sold around the world and now hitting two million production units, it truly is a global success story for European design, engineering and manufacturing.
“Congratulations to all my colleagues in Sunderland for reaching this latest milestone. I am now looking forward to seeing how quickly we can reach three million units with this remarkable model, which embodies Nissan’s promise to bring innovation and excitement to our customers.”
Nissan has invested £534 million in the design, development and production of Qashqai in the UK, which created a brand new segment following its launch in December 2006. Supporting more than 11,000 jobs in the UK car industry, 85% (1,706,633) of the two million Qashqais made in Sunderland have been exported to 132 international markets, from the Congo to Qatar.
The two millionth Qashqai to roll off the production line was a Magnetic Red model in the new N-TEC grade and is destined for a UK customer. Introduced last month, the new grade includes unique new styling features as well as Nissan Safety Shield technologies like Forward Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist.
Qashqai is made alongside the all-electric LEAF on Line 1 at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, which has been on around-the-clock, three-shift production since 2010 in order to meet customer demand, with a car currently rolling off the production line every minute.
Part of Nissan’s onslaught of new products for the European market, Qashqai has been joined in the Nissan line-up by a host of exciting new models including the Pulsar, e-NV200 and the Sunderland-built Juke, Note and LEAF.
Mr Willcox added: “The Qashqai is one of 12 new models we have launched in the past 12 months in Europe. This has given Nissan the strongest and most cohesive line-up in our history and is behind our drive to become Europe’s Number One Asian brand by 2016.”
Fundamental to the Qashqai’s development were Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington and European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The popularity of Qashqai has also helped Nissan to reach record market share in the UK, with sales and marketing operations based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. More than 11,500 people are employed in total at these sites and in UK dealerships, supporting a further 26,000 jobs in the UK supply chain.
Total global production of the new Qashqai now tops 2.5 million, with the first generation Qashqai also made by Nissan in China and Japan. From 2015 the new Qashqai will also be manufactured in Nissan’s plant in St. Petersburg for domestic sales in Russia.
Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK (NMUK) remains a global benchmark for productivity and quality, building more than 500,000 units a year. Sunderland builds Nissan Qashqai, Juke and Note as well as the Nissan LEAF, along with the advanced lithium-ion batteries that power it.
The Qashqai is now closing in on the Micra as the highest volume car in the history of Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, with 2,368,704 Micras made in Sunderland over an 18-year period from 1992 to 2010.