Almost 800 new jobs are being created at the Nissan car plant in Sunderland, thanks to the success of the firm's new Qashqai model. More than 130000 of the small 4X4 vehicles have been sold in Europe since their launch in March 2007. By December 2008, the firm wants to make 400 staff permanent, with the remainder on temporary contracts. About 850 Qashqais roll off the production line every day. An extra night-shift is now being introduced. Trevor Mann, senior vice president for manufacturing and supply chain management, Nissan Europe, said: "Currently on two shifts, we can produce 200000 Qashqais per year. "However, the car is proving so popular we now need to significantly increase our volume. "All of the Sunderland plant's current temporary manufacturing staff will be offered permanent positions with the company on a rolling basis throughout the year, subject to performance and sustained volume." Near flawless More than 4300 people already work at the plant, which has produced almost five million cars since production on Wearside began 20 years ago. Roger Maddison, national officer, for union Unite, said: "This is fantastic news for the North East, our members and the motor industry as a whole. "Unite members were instrumental in the near flawless launch of the UK-designed Qashqai. "With orders and forecasted sales expected to be even better this year, a third shift of production is needed in order to meet demand."
Nissan, Qashqai, Club, Sunderland, jobs, boost