SUNDERLAND, England -- Nissan Motor Co.'s remodeled Micra compact car rolled off the assembly line here Friday with hopes it will help the carmaker further penetrate the competitive European market.

The Micra, known as the March in Japan, is the first model using a platform jointly developed with capital partner Renault SA, of France.

Nissan will start marketing the Micra in Europe in January and hopes to sell 160,000 units a year, up 14 percent from the current model. The car was launched in Japan in March.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (U.K.) Ltd., which began production at the Sunderland plant in 1986, will turn out 1,000cc, 1,200cc and 1,400cc gasoline models of the Micra. Renault will provide engines for a 1,500cc diesel version.

With the new Micra and other models, including the X-Trail sport utility vehicle and the Primaster light commercial vehicle, Nissan aims to increase sales volume in Europe by 100,000 units by the end of March 2005. That would bring its total sales in the region to 600,000 units, or a 5 percent market share.

Nissan has injected fresh capital of 235 million pounds into the Sunderland plant to replace old equipment, having secured 40 million pounds in subsidies from the British government.