Nissan Flies Flag for UK Efficiency

Trappes, France (ots/PRNewswire) - The UK's biggest car plant, Nissan in Sunderland, is more than 5% more productive than the most efficient car plant in North America according to a major international study.

The 2005 Harbour Report measures the productivity of car plants on a labour hours/vehicle basis. It showed that in 2004 the average combined time it took Sunderland to build its three models (Micra, Almera and Primera) was a fraction over 15 hours/car.

This is 5.1% better than the top-ranked plant in North America, which averaged 15.85 hours/car.

Taken in isolation, the Micra supermini took just 13 hours to build - over 21% more efficient than the combined volume of the most productive plant in North America.

Sunderland was ranked as the most productive car plant in Europe from 1997 through to 2003 by the World Markets Research Centre. Last year, Nissan joined the Harbour Report which studied more than 30 plants across Europe (although comparisons amongst European plants is private) and every domestic and major foreign manufacturer in North America.

Sunderland plant's Managing Director, Colin Dodge, said: "I'm delighted that we've improved on our productivity record from 2003. It's a good indication that you're building cars well, achieving an excellent standard of quality and are working efficiently. If you get any of those things wrong you won't be productive, so obviously I'm pleased.

"The key to our continued success is the thorough application of the world renowned Nissan Production Way, a long history of improvement based on benchmarking, the skill and dedication of the management team and the high integrity and motivation of the workforce."

"As ever, it's the workforce who should take the lion's share of the credit. Their hard work is ensuring we remain competitive and are in a good position to attract new models to the UK."

Recently, Nissan unveiled the coupe/convertible Micra C+C which Sunderland will build from September onwards. This will be followed in January 2006 by the Tone 'mini-MPV' and the 4x4 crossover car, provisionally called Qashqai, in December 2006.

The Micra too has recently benefited from an extensive 'refreshment' with improvements both inside and out. Last week a Micra became the 4-millionth vehicle to be built at Sunderland since production began in 1986.

Note to Editor

Harbour Consulting is a manufacturing and management consulting firm focused on improving the overall competitiveness of manufacturing companies. Its consultants work with a wide range of clients both inside and outside of the automotive industry, helping them improve the quality, productivity and profitability of their manufacturing operations.

For further information please contact:
David Swerdlow,
Sunderland Press Office

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David Swerdlow, Sunderland Press Office, +44-191-419-3300, Email: