Nissan wants to extend its factory in Sunderland, north-east England, boosting its position as the largest UK-based car maker.
Having recently applied for permission, the Japanese company plans to increase the factory’s area up to 2,300 sq m, mostly enlarging its body and paint shops, trim, chassis and press facilities.
"If approved, these extensions will support the continued growth of Nissan's UK operations, reflecting the success of models manufactured in the UK including Qashqai, Juke, Note and the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF," said Nissan’s spokesman.
Starting in 2015, the company plans to move the production of its premium product Infinity to the Sunderland factory. The vehicle has so far been manufactured in Japan; however, the strong Japanese yen has forced the firm to look elsewhere.
Apart from the Sunderland site, Infinity’s production will be carried out at the Xiangyang plant in China from 2014.
Within the next three years, the Sunderland site is also expected to become responsible for the manufacturing of the next generation Qashqai and Note vehicles. The overall annual production is by then expected to reach 550,000 vehicles per year.
The currently 2,000 sq m plant, operating since 1986, has been producing some 500,000 cars annually. British auto industry body the SMMT has rated the plant as the biggest UK car factory for 14 consecutive years, as well as the biggest UK car exporter for 13 years.
The site currently employs some 6,000 staff members and supports further 23,000 jobs in its supply chain.