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2012-12-20 10:09

INFINITI'S NEW 'ENTRY' CAR: Colin Dodge, Nissan’s executive vice-president, with the upcoming Infiniti Etherea.

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Infiniti, the premium car arm of Nissan, has confirmed that it will assemble vehicles in Europe from Nissan’s production base in Sunderland, north-east England.

The brand returned to South Africa earlier in 2012.

The announcement represents an investment equivalent to about R3.5-billion into the facility and is expected to secure a further 1000 jobs in that city and across the UK.

WORLD EXPORTS

Colin Dodge, Nissan’s executive vice-president, speaking about the new Etherea, said: “This is our first premium product for Sunderland and reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant.

“Just as important, the new Infiniti, which will be exported around the world, is being developed with help from our London design centre and our European Technical Centre.”

The all-new premium entry-level compact Infiniti, the automaker says, will be produced from 2015 and allow the company to compete in the heart of the premium segment for the first time.

The car, when production begins, will become the first fresh car brand to be assembled in the UK on such a scale in 23 years. The UK production is expected to create 280 new jobs at the Sunderland plant. Production capacity will be 60 000 Infiniti a year.

More than 6000 people are employed already and global exports from the plant are more than five million a year.

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