Nissan Sunderland Plant yesterday celebrated the 25th anniversary of its official opening on September 8, 1986.
In the 25 years since, Nissan Sunderland Plant has seen volumes increasing from 5,139 Bluebirds in that first year to 423,262 cars in 2010.
Nissan has now manufactured more than 6.2 million vehicles and 12 different models at Sunderland, including Bluebird, Primera, Micra, Almera, Note, Qashqai and Juke.
“I celebrate this milestone with the Nissan Sunderland Plant and commend the significant achievements of the plant and its employees over the past 25 years,” said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co.
“As the UK’s largest car plant, biggest car exporter, and soon battery plant - with battery production for the Nissan LEAF planned for next year - Sunderland is a beacon of Nissan’s exemplary leadership in manufacture, management and technology, which define a global car company in the 21st century.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I welcome Nissan's continued investment in the UK, and the important role Nissan is playing in helping to rebalance our economy.
"With the design, development and manufacture of their new generation Qashqai all taking place in the UK, Nissan has restated its confidence in the skills of its British workforce and in the UK's manufacturing sector."
To mark this milestone, a ceremony will be held at the plant in which a time capsule will be buried on the site – recreating the ceremony held when construction of the plant began. The new time capsule updates the artefacts placed inside the original, including a model Qashqai, a telephone directory, newspapers from today, a Sunderland AFC shirt and items donated by regional partners such as the North East Chamber of Commerce, the CBI, Sunderland Council and Gateshead College.
Staff are now gearing up for production starting at the company’s new lithium-ion battery plant in the New Year, ahead of Nissan LEAF production beginning at Sunderland in 2013. Production of the new Qashqai will take Nissan’s total investment in its UK manufacturing base to £3.3 billion.