European production of the new Nissan Leaf has started at the Japanese company’s Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Yokosuka and Smyrna sites, this is the third factory on the planet, where the world’s best-selling electric vehicle is manufactured.
Nissan explains the first examples of the Euro-spec Leaf are already rolling of the line with first customer deliveries on the continent expected in February next year. More than 85,000 Leafs have been sold on the Old continent since 2011.
As far as the Sunderland factory is concerned, Nissan has initially invested approximately $561 million before the Leaf entered production there in 2013. An additional investment of $48 million is guaranteeing the job of more than 2,000 people, working on the new generation Leaf at the brand and in the UK supply chain.
“Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving,” Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan Europe Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing, commented during the production start. “We're excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan Leaf to European markets from February.”
The Sunderland factory is also responsible for the assembling of two other Nissan models, the Qashqai and Juke, as well as Infiniti’s Q30 and QX30 crossovers. The plant holds the crown for the biggest UK car manufacturing line of all time with more than nine million cars built in 30 years.
As for the new Leaf itself, it already enjoys a very strong customer interest with more than 23,000 orders put in its first full month on the market. We expect the monthly sales to keep growing, as the electric vehicle will be very soon available to order in the United States.
Gallery: 2018 Nissan Leaf production start in Europe
Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe
- Icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility goes into production
- Deliveries to begin to European customers in February
Production of the all-new Nissan LEAF, the next generation of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, is officially underway for European customers.
With the first new LEAFs now rolling off the line at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK, the countdown has now started to the first customers receiving their vehicles in February.
Embodying Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision and already winning international awards for innovation and technology, this new model has been reinvented to offer greater range, dynamic design, advanced driver assistance technologies and enhanced connectivity.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan Europe Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing, said: “Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving.
“We're excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan LEAF to European markets from February.”
The new Nissan LEAF offers an improved range of 378km* on a single charge, allowing drivers to enjoy longer journeys, interconnected by the extended European CHAdeMO Quick Charging network.
Cutting-edge technology in the new Nissan LEAF includes:
- The new e-Pedal which allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop the car by simply increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator, providing more control and taking the stress out of driving. E-pedal can hold the stop even downhill, and is made accessible as standard from entry grade.
- ProPILOT advanced driving assistance automatically controls the distance to the vehicle in front and steers the vehicle to help the driver keep LEAF centered in the lane. These functions can significantly improve driving experience when driving on the highway in both heavy and flowing traffic.
- ProPILOT Park is the technology that parks the new LEAF with the touch of a button. This full auto-parking feature combines advanced image processing technology using four high-resolution cameras and information from 12 ultrasonic sensors around the car to guide the vehicle into a space.
The Nissan LEAF has been in production in the UK since 2013 for European markets, with more than 85,000 units sold in Europe since 2011, when the first deliveries began from Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan. Following an initial investment of £420m, the introduction of the new Nissan LEAF has been supported by a further £36m investment in Nissan Sunderland Plant, supporting more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in the UK supply chain.
The start of production follows the new Nissan LEAF’s first major international awards last month, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) annual CES Unveiled ceremony in New York, presented by the Consumer Technology Association. LEAF was awarded:
- CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology, and
- CES honoree for Tech for a Better World
In addition to the new LEAF, Nissan Sunderland Plant also manufactures the market-leading crossovers Qashqai and Juke and the Infiniti brand’s Q30 and QX30 models. Last year the plant celebrated its 30th anniversary, and this year total volume surpassed 9m vehicles, cementing its position as the biggest UK car plant of all time.