The two millionth Nissan Qashqai has been built at the UK’s Sunderland factory, underlining the success of the innovative crossover which turned around Nissan’s fortunes in Europe.
It’s the most successful car ever manufactured in the UK, according to Nissan, which says no other car has passed the milestone so quickly.
The two millionth Qashqai rolled off the line eight years after production first started. The landmark car was a magnetic red Nissan Qashqai N-tec bound for a British buyer (pictured).
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Nissan Qashqai and the booming Sunderland factory
Production of the Qashqai started in December 2006. The brainchild of a team hellbent on forgetting the tragedy of the Almera and Primera family hatches, which failed to make any impression on European buyers, the QQ was a clean-sheet design.
It was styled in Nissan’s Paddington design centre in London, engineered at the Cranfield R&D base in Bedfordshire and built in Sunderland, making the Qashqai a particularly British success story.
Don’t underestimate the size of the gamble that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn took. It was a bold move to desert family hatches altogether - and look where it’s ended up. Now every European manufacturer - and we mean everyone - is scrambling to catch up.
And after the success of the Qashqai, which remains a regular in the UK top 10 sellers’ chart, Nissan was emboldened to produce a mini-me version with added attitude: the Juke shrunken crossover.
Sunderland is not the only factory to make the Qashqai, though it is the biggest single source of the model. Nissan has made a further 500,000 in China and Japan, and from 2015 it’ll also join the line at Nissan’s St Petersburg plant in Russia.
Nissan Qashqai by numbers
Check out some of the key numbers of the Qashqai story:
£534 million How much Nissan invested in the QQ project
11,000 Number of UK jobs supported by the Qashqai
85% How many Qashqais are exported
132 Number of countries Sunderland exports to