The landmark vehicle was driven off the production line four years, six months and 23 days after production began on December 5, 2006. No other UK-built car has reached the million mark in such a short space of time.
The silver 2.0-litre diesel TEKNA Qashqai will now go on display at The O2 Arena in London and one lucky person will win the special car.
Today’s production milestone comes just two weeks afterPresident and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., Carlos Ghosn, announced during a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron that the next version of the Qashqai will be designed, engineered and built in the UK. This will take the total Nissan investment in the UK for Qashqai past £422 million.
The Nissan Qashqai is easily the highest-volume car produced in the UK. Future Qashqai production will safeguard the jobs of 6,000 people at Nissan and in the UK supply chain.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, said: "The Nissan Qashqai has been a phenomenal success since its start of production just four and a half years ago. Qashqai was a real crossover pioneer and producing one million in such a short space of time is a fantastic achievement, not just by staff at the Sunderland Plant, but also by the designers and engineers who developed such a popular car and our dealer network who have helped to generate such high demand.”
UK Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "The Qashqai is a success story for both Nissan and the UK. With the millionth car coming off the production line, the Sunderland, Cranfield and Paddington workforce should take great pride in its popularity. It’s great news that they will be able to build on their success with the recent announcement that the UK has been chosen to design, engineer and build the new Qashqai model."
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: "The UK is home to some of the world’s most productive automotive facilities making cars that are in demand across the globe. Landmarks such as today’s announcement from Nissan serve to reinforce this, demonstrating the importance of manufacturing to our economy and its contribution to an export-led recovery.”
Manufactured on Line 1 at Nissan Sunderland Plant, the Qashqai has been one of Nissan's most successful products to date. A third shift was launched on Line 1 in June 2008 to meet demand for Qashqai, allowing 24-hour production to take place at the factory. This was withdrawn in January 2009 in response to the global financial crisis, then reinstated in May 2010. Since then the plant has been working round the clock to meet demand.
On average, 1,200 Qashqais per day are produced at the plant, or one every minute that the production line is working. More than 80 per cent of Qashqai production is exported to 97 markets worldwide from the Port of Tyne.
The Qashqai is firmly established as one of the UK’s Top 10 best-selling cars, and was the fourth best-selling model in the C-segment across Europe in the 2010 Fiscal Year. Its top five markets were the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain and France. The car’s many accolades include top ranking for four consecutive years from the ADAC breakdown organisation in Germany, one of Europe's most demanding quality surveys.
Nissan Sunderland Plant also produces the Note mini-MPV and the Juke compact crossover on Line 2 of the factory. The plant will manufacture the 100% electric Nissan LEAF from 2013.
Two other models have previously passed the million production mark at Nissan Sunderland Plant – the Nissan Micra (2.3 million units produced from 1992-2010) and the Nissan Primera (1.4 million units produced from 1990-2007).
Details of the competition to win the millionth Qashqai will be announced soon.
About Nissan in the UK
- Nissan Sunderland Plant was established in 1984 and production began in 1986
- Total investment made and announced since then is £3.3 billion
- Total plant volume since 1986 stands at more than six million units
- In 2010 81 per cent of production was exported to 97 markets worldwide
- Sunderland Plant currently employs around 5,000 staff
- Nissan's European design centre is located in Paddington, London and employs around 40 people
- Nissan's European Technical Centre is based in Cranfield, Bedfordshire and employs around 500 people
Annual Qashqai production totals at NMUK
- 2006 - 3,799
- 2007 - 179,598
- 2008 - 224,989
- 2009 - 198,841
- 2010 - 271,188
- 2011 - 122,865 (to end May)
- Each Qashqai uses 300kg of steel; the 300,000,000 of steel used by 1m cars equals the amount of structural steel estimated to be used for constructing Britain’s 2012 Olympic facilities.
- On average, one Qashqai leaves the Sunderland production line everyminute. Happily, that’s exactly the same birth rate for Britain’s babies.
- Parked end-to-end, one million Qashqais would measure just under 2,700 miles. That happens to be the approximate total length of Britain’s coastline.
- With 31 outer panels meaning that 31m have been made, there’s one piece of Qashqai bodywork, just, for each of the 31m cars registered for use on Britain’s roads.
- Sunderland Plant’s five millionth vehicle was a Qashqai. It’s in historic company: the five millionth vehicle built at the former British Leyland factory at Longbridge was a Rover 75 and the five millionth vehicle built at Ford’s Halewood was an Escort.
- The first British car ever to top the 1m production total was the Morris Minor. It reached the milestone 50 years ago in January 1961, just over 12 years after it went on sale. The Qashqai has managed the same feat in well under half the time.
- Aside from colours, there are 7863 combinations of engine and trim available for the Qashqai – rather more than the 7500 different varieties of apple around the world, of which an amazing 2000 are grown in Britain.
- The arctic tern flies an incredible 50,000-mile round trip between the Arctic and Antarctic each year. This makes it the longest migration of any creature on earth, and the same distance – 50,330 miles to be precise – in sealant has been used to keep 1m Qashqais waterproof.
- How many Qashqais are bought in Britain by dejected cyclists? After all, while 1200 examples are built daily in Sunderland, 1200 bikes are stolen across the country…