Nissan Leaf production to move to Sunderland

JonathanJanuary 4, 2012

Individuals and fleet managers who rely on their cars for work purposes and are always looking for the competitive edge may be interested to know that electrical cars could soon become more widespread in the UK.

Nissan has announced that its Sunderland factory will be the first plant in the world outside of Japan to manufacture the award-winning Nissan Leaf – the company’s first all electric vehicle.

Car leasing customers may find that they are better positioned to take advantage of any new developments in the industry than those businesses who privately own their vehicles.

This year the Sunderland facility will produce and stockpile the lithium-ion batteries which power the Leaf, before the production lines become altered to allow them to manufacture the ultra efficient car next year.

The Leaf was recently adopted by Siemens and is used as part of its fleet to transport employees around the city of Lincoln. Even though Siemens is an early adopter of the technology, the company has found that it has been a successful switch.

Mark Bonnor-Morris, the electronics firm’s business development manager, said that the car offers great practicality, safety, fuel economy and zero emissions.

The move to produce the Leaf in the UK could mean that many more business will use the car in their fleets.

Nissan’s Sunderland plant was also celebrating after it was revealed it achieved a host of records in 2011. In its 25th year, the factory produced a British record 480,485 cars and employed 5,462 workers – an all-time high for the plant.

“Our 26th year promises to be equally exciting, as we launch the new Battery Plant at Sunderland and prepare the plant for production of the 100 per cent [electric] Nissan Leaf alongside the Qashqai, Juke and Note,” said Nissan’s vice-president for manufacturing in the UK Kevin Fitzpatrick.

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