• Jun 3rd 2008 at 2:01PM
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Click on the above sketch for a high-res gallery of the Micra 160 SR

After sharing tea at Nissan's European Design Centre in central London, Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Company, and the Right Honorable Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, released the news that Nissan will design and build an all-new compact car in the UK's Sunderland plant. The car, a dedicated A-platform, will be used for several new models, including the next-gen Micra. According to the press release posted after the jump, the new Nissan will fill the void created when the current version of the Nissan Micra ends production in 2010. A boon for the local economy, the Sunderland facility employs 4,700 Brits who helped produce 374,000 vehicles in 2007. Nearly 80-percent of those were exported, making Nissan the largest vehicle exporter in the United Kingdom.



LONDON, Tuesday 3rd June, 2008 - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., today announced that it will source an innovative all-new compact car from its Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom (UK), starting in 2010. Building on the success of the Qashqai, the all-new product will reinforce Sunderland's role as manufacturer and exporter of high-value products.

The decision was announced following a visit today by the British Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Gordon Brown, to Nissan's European Design Centre in central London where he met Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Co.

The Prime Minister said, "Nissan is a global manufacturer with strong roots in Britain and I'm pleased to welcome Nissan's new investment in the UK. Today's announcement that a brand new car is to be designed and built in the UK is another important boost to our manufacturing industry, and builds upon Nissan's recent commitments to increase investment and jobs at its record breaking Sunderland plant.

"Sunderland's success shows what an innovative, talented and highly committed workforce can achieve, and reaffirms the UK's position as a strong player in the global car industry," he added.

Carlos Ghosn said, "By delivering on tough commitments, our employees at Sunderland have demonstrated our plant can be a globally competitive centre for the production of high-value products. We are encouraged by the proactive support shown by the British government to decide new products for the Sunderland plant."

The all-new vehicle will be an addition to the current Nissan range and for the Sunderland plant, and it will take up the manufacturing capacity created when production of the current version of the Micra ends in 2010.

Next generation Micra

Nissan will compete in the entry-car market with a dedicated new A platform that will be used for at least three models, including the next generation of Micra, and will be built in five Leading Competitive Countries (LCCs).

Production sites for this family of compact cars will include the new plant in Chennai, India, being constructed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The development of a competitive A platform is one of several business breakthroughs announced as part of Nissan GT 2012, the company's new five-year business plan.

The Nissan plant in Sunderland produced a record 374,000 vehicles in fiscal year 2007. Nissan is the largest vehicle exporter from the UK, with around 80% of production sold outside of the country. Together with the engine assembly plant and other facilities, Sunderland currently employs 4,700 workers.

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