Part of an overall £250m investment in the UK, a groundbreaking ceremony was performed today by Executive Vice President Trevor Mann, and Fintan Knight, Vice President for Infiniti Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mann said: “Securing the Infiniti Q30 for production at Sunderland was a tremendous achievement by the workforce and reflects the quality levels which they have reached. The existing Sunderland plant is already the largest in UK automotive history and this £250m investment will move the plant even further up the value chain and reconfirm our commitment to their future.”
Knight said whilst addressing visiting dignitaries, UK suppliers and plant staff at the ceremony: “This is a significant step for the Infiniti brand as we establish manufacturing here. The design centre in Paddington, the Technical Centre in Cranfield and the ongoing partnership with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team in Milton Keynes testify to our strong link with the UK. Our investment here amplifies the brand’s presence in Europe, one of the key markets for Infiniti, but provides clear intent as we gear up for sales of the compact premium Q30 in 2015. Infiniti is committed to growing its product offering over the coming years as we challenge the traditional premium offerings.”
Trevor Mann and Fintan Knight performed the groundbreaking ceremony with the aid of a specialist digger provided by construction partner Sir Robert McAlpine, indicative of a relationship which dates back to the establishment of the Sunderland Plant in 1984.
The new facilities, for the Q30 body assembly (Body Shop) and final assembly (Trim and Chassis),will cover 25,000m2 of new production space, with construction and facility installation due to be completed in time for the Q30 launch in 2015. The new Body Shop facilities will enable assembly of the Q30’s premium platform, while the Trim and Chassis extension will include a new engine installation facility.
Infiniti will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale for 23 years. The expansion is set to create 1,000 jobs at Sunderland and in its UK suppliers, including 280 new jobs at the Sunderland Plant, with the company’s Design Centre in Paddington and Technical Centre in Cranfield also involved in the Q30’s development.