Nissan’s Sunderland Plant has started exporting its second model to Japan in the space of just 10 weeks. In March, QASHQAI became the first Sunderland-built model in over a decade to be exported back to Nissan’s home market. Now, the plant’s Micra C+C convertible will join it on dealer forecourts across the country. Although Japanese motorists have been driving the hatchback version of Micra since 2002 (when it was launched under the name ‘March’) this is their first opportunity to enjoy the car in coupe/convertible form.
This is thanks to the C+C’s unique folding glass roof, called C-VIEW®, which raises and lowers automatically in just 22 seconds, at the push of a button. Designed, engineered and manufactured in Britain, C+C began rolling off the Sunderland production line in November 2005 following a £95 million total project investment. In that time more than 23,000 have been exported to over 45 markets around the world.
The car marked the first on-site collaboration between Nissan and a supplier in the UK, with German specialists ‘Karmann’ manufacturing the roof module right next to the main production line. The C+Cs bound for Japan will all be top spec models featuring 15” alloys, in-dash 6 CD autochangers, keyless entry and leather upholstery. All cars will be powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine, with customers able to choose between manual and automatic transmission.
Initially, around 1,500 cars will be shipped, with customer demand carefully monitored once the car reaches Japanese showrooms in July. Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Europe, Trevor Mann said: “Coming so soon after QASHQAI, this is great news for our plant.
“In March I was explaining how demanding the Japanese market is in relation to QASHQAI export, so to have two of our products competing over there speaks volumes both about the quality of our employees, and the cars they produce.
“I think Japanese motorists will really appreciate the C+C. It’s a very individual car with bags of character, it’s highly manoeuvrable, fun to drive and the automatic glass roof is unique in its class.”