Nissan Juke production begins at Sunderland plant

Production of the new second-generation Nissan Juke has begun at the car maker’s Sunderland plant, following what the firm says is £100 million worth of investment in the site.

The original version of the compact crossover has been built at the plant since it first went into production 10 years ago. Nissan has committed to continuing Juke production there despite switching build of the next-generation X-Trail to Japan – although the firm has warned the plant’s future could be in doubt depending on the outcome of Brexit.

Nissan’s European boss, Gianluca de Ficchy, said that the Juke “represents a further £100m investment in our Sunderland plant and is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK for European customers”.

Nissan highlighted the fact that around 70% of the Juke models built in Sunderland will be for European Union markets, and that two-thirds of its suppliers are based in the EU – underlining the potential threat of delays or extra costs caused by a no-deal Brexit.

To prepare for the new Juke, Nissan says staff underwent more than 5000 hours of training. Nissan has also installed more than 27 new die sets in the plant’s press shop and four additional spray booths in the paint shop.

Nissan has also shuffled the production schedule at its plant, moving extra manufacturing staff to Line Two, which produces the Juke, by ending the night shift on its other line.

That means both production lines will operate on a two-shift pattern. Nissan says headcount at the site will be unaffected, although some staff will lose their shift allowance.