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Nissan exports new car model to ... Japan

From turkishpress| May 18,2007

Nissan, the Japanese car giant, said on Thursday that it has begun to export the group's new Micra model to its home market from its factory in Sunderland, northeast England.

The plant's new Micra C+C convertible would be available in Japan from July, Nissan said in a statement.

In March this year, Nissan's Sunderland car plant exported its first model to Japan in more than a decade -- the Qashqai.

"Coming so soon after Qashqai, this is great news for our plant," said Trevor Mann, Nissan's senior vice president for Manufacturing Europe.

Initially, about 1,500 cars will be shipped to Japan, with customer demand monitored once the car reaches Japanese showrooms in July, Nissan said.

Mann added: "In March, I was explaining how demanding the Japanese market is in relation to Qashqai exports, so to have two of our products competing over there speaks volumes both about the quality of our employees, and the cars they produce."

Designed, engineered and manufactured in Britain, C+C began rolling off the Sunderland production line in November 2005 following investment totalling 95 million pounds. Since then, more than 23,000 have been exported to more than 45 markets around the world.

The C+Cs bound for Japan are described as "top spec (specification) models," offering keyless entry, leather upholstery and a folding glass roof.

Japanese motorists have been driving the hatchback version of Micra since 2002, but this will be their first opportunity to buy the car in a coupe/convertible form.

The Qashqai, meanwhile, is a hybrid offroad compact car aimed primarily at the European market.

Nissan is Japan's second-largest automaker. Under an alliance with French car-maker Renault agreed in 1999, Renault owns 44.4 percent of Nissan, which in turn owns 15 percent of its French partner.

Nissan's success with the Sunderland plant comes as car factories are being shut elsewhere in England by British and foreign firms owing to supposed high costs.

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