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UK Prime Minister Visits Nissan’s Global Headquarters

April 10 – Yokohama – Nissan’s global headquarters hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday, an early stop on his first state visit to Japan.

Nissan used the visit to signal its commitment to UK manufacturing, announcing plans for production of a new mid-sized hatchback at its Sunderland plant from 2014. 

“I think it’s a great example of partnership because that’s what this is all about,” said Cameron. “There’s been an incredibly strong partnership, through Nissan, between Britain and Japan.” 

The as-yet-unnamed model, along with the manufacture of the Invitation concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show, will create 3,000 jobs in the UK automotive sector, including 625 at Nissan. 

During the visit, Prime Minister Cameron took a private look at the newly announced car, while meeting with Nissan executives and employees at a specially-convened townhall meeting.

“From a product planning perspective, we want to put a car back in the mainstream, that’s complementary to Qashqai and of course key to making sure that we’re the biggest Asian maker in Europe – and of course, making sure we reach 5% market share,” said Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.

The UK premier also viewed a Nissan LEAF adorned with the Union Jack, a reminder that the electric vehicle will begin production at Sunderland next year as part of a $1.37 billion investment in the country announced over the last two years. 

“You make one out of every three cars in the UK, you employ 5,400 people in the United Kingdom, and the news today is hugely welcome,” the Prime Minister said. “Not only will you be building the electric LEAF car in Sunderland but you’ll also be building this hatchback from 2014.”

Nissan’s long production relationship with the UK includes the Sunderland-produced Juke crossover and the classic Austin A40, which Nissan built under license from the British carmaker in the 1950s.


Cameron will meet with key companies investing in the UK during his 2-day visit, while Nissan is now the largest car manufacturer in the nation.


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