Nissan confirms new Leaf WILL be built in Sunderland after £36million investment

Nissan will build the new Leaf in Sunderland
Nissan will build the new Leaf in Sunderland

Nissan will build the new electric Leaf on Wearside with a £36million investment in its Sunderland plant

The car giant unveiled a new model of the all-electric family car, with an increased 400km range, in Japan on Tuesday night.

The new Leaf

The new Leaf

The firm said the new Leaf would go on sale in Japan next month and was 'slated for deliveries in January 2018 in the U.S., Canada and Europe.'

But it did not say whether or not the European deliveries would be produced in Sunderland.

It has confirmed this morning that Sunderland will be one of three plants globally to produce the new model, alongside factories in Oppama, Japan, and Smyrna in Tennessee.

A Nissan UK spokesman said: "The announcement represents a £36million investment in our Sunderland plant and first deliveries of the new car will start in major European markets in January 2018."

James Ramsbotham

James Ramsbotham

Fumiaki Matsumoto, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, said: "We’re proud to continue manufacturing the Nissan LEAF at three plants globally.

"The Nissan LEAF is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility with its many advanced technologies. Nissan employees in Oppama, Smyrna and Sunderland are excited to continue producing the most popular electric vehicle in the world."

Nissan started building the original Leaf on Wearside in March 2013 and reached the 50,000 milestone in May last year.

Leaf and battery manufacturing supports more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK suppliers.

Sharon Hodgson

Sharon Hodgson

North East England Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham said: "It is fantastic news. We are absolutely delighted.

"This new car's 200 mile range makes it az much., much more attractive prospect and electric is going to have a much greater prominence as we move away from carbon-fuelled vehicles over the next 20 years.

"This is a fantastic commitment to the UK and a fantastic commitment to Wearside."

MP Sharon Hodgson, whose Washington and Sunderland West constituency covers the Nissan plant, said: "This is wonderful news and it is all down to the exceptional hard work of the management and employees at Nissan, along with those working in the supply chain too.

"Their determination has made the Nissan factory here in Sunderland such an incredible success story and the jewel in our region’s manufacturing crown. This investment is a reflection of that."