Fleet News

Sunderland's Micra D-Day looms

BRITAIN'S future role as a major European car manufacturing base for Nissan will be revealed next week. The long-awaited decision over whether the Sunderland factory has won the crucial contract to build the next-generation Micra will be announced at the end of the month, chief executive Carlos Ghosn said at the Detroit Motor Show.

Asked if he had made up his mind about the future of the UK plant, Ghosn told Fleet NewsNet: 'When we make our decision known, it will be final and very clear. We will say exactly why we are taking this particular decision.' Nissan in the UK says it remains in the dark about whether Sunderland will get the go-ahead or not, and while Ghosn declined to reveal his intentions, body language suggested that Britain would lose out.

The comment about the factory - judged as the most efficient in Europe for the last two years - came after Nissan used the Detroit show to announce that it will produce a new version of its classic Z sports car in the US in 2002. The new Z sports car is powered by a 3.5-litre, 260bhp V6 engine and will be capable of accelerating from rest to 60 mph in less than six seconds. Despite being intended initially for the USA, the £21,000 car will be made available to European markets.

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