LONDON – Nissan Motor Co. will start manufacturing a new compact car in northeast Britain in 2013, creating around 2,000 extra jobs, the firm said Tuesday.
The new hatchback Invitation, a prototype of which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show starting Tuesday, will be produced at Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd.’s plant in Sunderland, currently Britain’s largest car factory.
The company will be investing £125 million ($197 million) in the new project, which is being supported by a grant worth £9.3 million from the government.
It is anticipated the new model will have an initial volume of around 100,000 units a year.
Trevor Mann, Nissan senior vice president for manufacturing in Europe, said, “I’m delighted that Sunderland has secured what will be another very important model for Nissan in Europe.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “This latest announcement highlights the U.K.’s track record of attracting inward investment. “Global vehicle manufacturers are beating a path to the U.K’s door. They recognize that the government values the automotive sector,” said the member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet.
Nissan eyes Europe ties
Nissan Motor Co. President Carlos Ghosn has indicated the automaker is willing to build and strengthen partnerships with competitors in Europe, Russia and India.
Ghosn told a Tuesday news conference in Geneva, where the International Motor Show is currently being held, that Nissan is considering pursuing all options to strengthen ties with Daimler AG, to which Nissan has agreed to supply gasoline engines for use in the German automaker’s Mercedes-Benz cars.