Production starts for UK-built stars

06 December 2006

  • Burnaston to build Corolla replacement
  • Sunderland plant starts Qashqai production
  • Both cars on sale in the spring

Japanese-spec Auris 1.8

Car manufacturing in Britain has received a shot in the arm with two new mass-market cars entering production in the UK next year.

Nissan's Sunderland plant has begun production of the 4x4-lookalike Qashqai hatchback, while Toyota has announced that the Auris, the replacement for the Corolla small family car, will be built at the company's Burnaston factory in Derbyshire.

The Corolla was the world's biggest-selling car and its replacement secures 4200 jobs in Burnaston. The Auris will be built alongside the Avensis family car at the plant and also in Turkey. Toyota predicts that 119,000 Auris will be built at it UK plant in 2007.

The Auris will be available with a choice of two petrol engines or three diesel engines when it goes on sale in February.

Production of Nissan's Qashqai small family car has already started and will be in full swing within four weeks. The company predicts that 130,000 of the compact crossover will be built in 2007.

It secures more than 3000 jobs at the UK plant and within the regional supply chain, and around 80% of its production will be exported. Europe is its target market – but it will also be only the second Sunderland-built car to be sold in Japan.

Dealers should be fully stocked by the end of February, and customers will have the choice of three trim grades and four engine options: two petrols and, as from April, two diesels, including a new 2.0-litre.

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