YOKOHAMA, April 10 (Kyodo) — Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it will start manufacturing a new hatchback at its British plant from 2014 by investing 127 million pounds (16.35 billion yen).
The Japanese automaker said production of the mid-sized hatchback at its Sunderland plant will create an additional 225 jobs at the factory and 900 at component suppliers.
The announcement was made by Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday on his first official visit to Japan.
"I'm very proud of the fact that you chose to put so much into that Sunderland plant," said Cameron at Nissan headquarters in Yokohama, while noting the company makes about one in every three cars produced in Britain.
Nissan announced last month that Sunderland will also produce from next year a compact car based on its Invitation concept vehicle. Combined, the two models will lead to more than 3,000 new jobs in the British automotive sector in the next two years, the company said.
Nissan will make 80,000 of the new hatchback vehicles annually, forcing the plant to operate around-the-clock and boosting the plant's output capacity to over 550,000 vehicles.
In 2010, Nissan's Sunderland plant became the first in Britain to produce more than 400,000 vehicles in a single year, and the output rose to 480,000 last year, according to the company.