In an amazing short time, the Nissan Qashqai has made automotive history after production passed two million units in record time, reaching this latest manufacturing milestone quicker than any other model in the history of the UK car industry.
Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe, said: “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 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.”
A fine example of what can be done right here in the UK (as the Qashqai was designed, engineered and built in Nissan’s UK facilities for European customers in Sunderland), the two millionth unit caps a truly remarkable 2014 for the Qashqai which started in January with the launch of the updated model, and included What Car? magazine’s coveted Car of the Year title, Tow Car’s 'Car of the Year' award, and ebay customers' 'New Car of the Year' trophy amongst other accolades.
And the ‘ordinariness’ of the Qashqai was no more demonstrated when the 2,000,000th car rolled off the production line; no special fanfare but just a nominal delivery of a magnetic red model in the new n-tec grade for a UK customer. And no surprise really that it was a new n-tec model as it has proved to be a big favourite with customers thanks to its 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.
It’s a big thumbs up too for the people at Nissan Sunderland, Paddington and Cranfield in Bedfordshire as well as Nissan themselves who have invested £534 million in the design, development and production of Qashqai in the UK, managing at the same time to support more than 11,000 jobs in the UK car industry. No wonder UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Right Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, was quick to praise:
“Nissan is one of the driving forces behind the UK’s world-renowned automotive industry. They currently employ more than 11,000 people across the UK and have invested more than £500m in the innovation, design and production of this car, directly supporting the local and national economies.”
It should also be noted that at the Nissan Sunderland Plant, which has been on round-the-clock, three-shift production since 2010 in order to meet customer demand, with a car currently rolling off the production line every 62 seconds, or 58 per hour, the Qashqai is made alongside the all-electric LEAF.
Vince Cable was also quick to get a quick plug in for both the UK car industry and government policy too. “The UK automotive industry is thriving. Last year, we increased our production to more than 1.5 million cars in the UK – that’s a car rolling off the production line every 20 seconds. Through the UK government’s industrial strategy we are backing the automotive sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high-skilled jobs.”
The car has also been good for the UK’s export figures with 1,706,633 of the two million Qashqais made in Sunderland since December 2006 being exported to 132 international markets, from the Congo to Qatar. (That’s around 85% of them)
Total global production of the Qashqai now tops 2.5 million, with the first generation Qashqai also made by Nissan in China and Japan, and this figure will increase from next year once the Nissan plant in St. Petersberg starts manufacturing the Qashqai for domestic sales in Russia.
So it’s onwards and upwards for the Qashqai as it closes in on the Micra as the highest volume car in the history of Nissan Sunderland Plant. Only 368,704 to go!