Nissan’s electrifying performance

25 July 2018

THE remarkable scale of Nissan’s expanding global empire is highlighted by latest figures for the sale of the locally-made

LEAF model.

This zero-emissions vehicle is the best-selling electric vehicle so far this year, with 18,000 buyers, and twice that number since production of this latest version began here in October.

The car is claiming an extended range and improved performance from its all-electric powertrain, enhanced exterior styling and advanced driver-assistance technologies. The larger, 40 kilowatt-hour battery achieves an official driving range of 168 miles under test conditions.

The new LEAF boasts a host of innovative technologies such as Nissan ProPILOT, ProPILOT Park and e-Pedal.

Three quarters of new LEAF buyers are choosing models equipped with the ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system.

In total, the LEAF has notched up more than 340,000 global sales since being first introduced in 2010.

The car is built at Nissan’s Sunderland factory alongside the Nissan Qashqai, Juke and Infiniti Q30.

There is also production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, which began there in 2012.

The total plant volume since 1986 stands at more than nine million vehicles, with 80 per cent of production being exported to more than 100 markets worldwide.

Total investment since then is over £4 billion, although UK Government contributions and incentives remain a closely-guarded secret.

The combined workforce in Tyne and Wear, London, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire now total more than 8,000, with a further 28,000 jobs in the supply chain and 4,000 in the UK dealer network.

Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 660,000 vehicles including crossovers, commercial vehicles and the LEAF, which is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.

The company is also pursuing a goal of zero fatalities on the road, just like Volvo, and is among those leading the field with its vision of Intelligent Mobility.

The company sells more than 60 different models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands, amounting to 5.77 million last year.

Now Nissan says it is aiming to increase revenue by 30 per cent in the next four years, having been partners with Renault since 1999, and with Mitsubishi since 2016, making it the world’s largest automotive partnership with a total of 10.5 million sales a year.