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£192m Nissan boost for UK car jobs

Japanese car giant Nissan has announced plans to invest £192 million to build the next version of its Qashqai model in Britain, helping to safeguard 6,000 jobs.

The firm said the decision is a "major endorsement" of the quality of British-made products and for its factories and workers in Sunderland, Bedfordshire and London.

The car will be developed at Nissan's design centre in London and at its technical site in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, before being built in Sunderland.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the announcement as "fantastic news".

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn made the announcement at a meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street, saying: "The UK has been a cornerstone of Nissan manufacturing since 1986, with the Sunderland plant setting important benchmarks for quality and efficiency in Europe and around the world.

"It's the home of the Qashqai, one of Nissan's biggest product successes, and, as Nissan's leadership in sustainable transportation grows, the plant will become one of the pillars of our zero-emission manufacturing."

The Sunderland plant will produce its one millionth Qashqai later this month and more than four out of five cars are exported to 97 markets worldwide.

Mr Cameron said: "This investment from Nissan is fantastic news and a great demonstration of the strength and vitality of the UK car industry. That future manufacturing and R&D has been secured is a tribute to the skill, expertise and hard work of Nissan's UK workforce.

"It is vital that we have a strong manufacturing base to rebalance our economy and secure sustainable economic growth, and it is this Government's determination that we do all we can to enable businesses to invest, to grow and create jobs."

The current Qashqai production line in Sunderland has been running around the clock for more than a year to meet global demand, producing an average of 1,200 Qashqais per day.

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