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Nissan’s Sunderland Plant gets a Royal Visit

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The Prince of Wales

Twenty-nine years ago, The Prince of Wales visited Japan to celebrate the beginning of production at a newly constructed Nissan plant in Sunderland and rode in one of their electric vehicles. Last week, he visited the Sunderland plant to see how far Nissan’s electric vehicles have come in the past three decades.

The Nissan Sunderland Plant opened in 1986 and has become one of the most productive assembly plants in Europe, open 24 hours a day. The plant employs 6,000 people, many of whom are young adults. It currently manufactures the Nissan Leaf, Nissan Qashqai, Nissan Note, and Nissan Juke for the European market.

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Nissan Europe had a huge 2014, selling a total of 724,613 vehicles and setting an all-time record. The Leaf also became the first electric car to sell over 30,000 units in a single year.

Paul Willcox is chairman of Nissan Europe and had this to say: “With a keen, lifelong interest in sustainability, His Royal Highness was interested to see LEAF production as well as hear about Sunderland’s achievements as one of the UK’s most successful car plants.”

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Prince Charles also visited Nissan’s Global Training Center in the Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Sustainability, Manufacturing and Innovation and met with students in the Industrial Cadets program who are helping to raise awareness of manufacturing sector jobs in the UK.

Check out a video of his visit below: