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Infiniti to build new premium lower medium model at Sunderland

Date: 19 December 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Infiniti, Nissan's luxury arm, is to build a new premium lower medium car at Nissan's UK factory in Sunderland from 2015.

The company is known for its high-performance saloons, coupes and 4x4s, and despite introducing diesel and hybrid powertrains, none of its vehicles are clean or economical enough to rival established premium fleet favourites from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Infiniti's new lower medium model should change that. It will share its underpinnings with the Mercedes A-class and, though exact details have yet to be confirmed, it is expected to herald the arrival of a series of frugal, low CO2 petrol and diesel engines.

Sunderland will receive £250 million of investment as a result of the move and it will be the only Nissan factory to produce the new Infiniti.

A total of 1000 new jobs will be created across the supply chain, 280 of which will be at the Sunderland factory. The plant will have the capacity to build 60,000 Infinitis each year.

The move does mean that Nissan's forthcoming lower medium model and rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, which was expected to be built at Sunderland, will now be produced elsewhere.

UK business secretary Vince Cable, who visited the factory, said: "Today's news is a strong endorsement of the quality of Britain's car industry, which is creating jobs, taking on apprentices and contributing to building a stronger economy.

"The auto sector is living up to being one of the great success stories of our industrial strategy and a testimony to government and private sector working together in close partnership."

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