Saturday 8th July marks the 20th anniversary of Nissan’s Sunderland Plant producing its first car.
A white Bluebird hatchback was driven off the line on Tuesday 8 July 1986 and donated to the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, where it is still on display.
In the first year of production, the Sunderland plant employed 470 staff and had a production target of 24,000 Bluebirds – all assembled from parts shipped in crates from Japan. Now, it employs more than 4200 people who produce around 310,000 Micras, Micra C+Cs, Notes, Almeras and Primeras each year.
In December, a 4x4 based on the Qashqai concept will become the tenth new model to be launched on Wearside since cars began rolling off the line. This model could help Sunderland’s total annual volume rise to around 400,000 units by the end of 2007.
The Sunderland plant has made more than 4.3 million cars for 55 markets around the world, including Japan.