Infiniti announced today that it will begin building vehicles at Nissan’s facility in Sunderland, United Kingdom. This announcement is more proof that Infiniti is serious about expanding its brand across the globe. Earlier this week, Infiniti also decided to shake up its lineup by renaming everything. Infiniti invested more than $331 million into the Sunderland facility to handle the increase in production.
The Sunderland facility will be capable of pumping out 60,000 Infiniti units a year and will play a major role in the exporting of vehicles all across the world. With help from the Sunderland facility, Nissan has already exported 5 million units this year alone. Once production begins at Sunderland, Infiniti will become the largest automaker to kick off production on this grand of a scale in the UK in 23 years. The Sunderland facility makes sense for Infiniti as sibling Nissan is expected to surpass more than a half million units built there before the year is out. Just what exactly will be built at Sunderland remains to be seen but UK Business Secretary Vince Cable shed a little light.
“Sunderland will be the only place in the world to make this new premium compact car,” said Cable in a statement. “Nissan in the UK goes from strength to strength – not only will the new car be made here and exported all over the world, the UK has already contributed to its design and development.”
This “new premium compact car” Cable speaks of could be the Etherea concept but nothing is yet official. All that’s known is that Infiniti announced a hatchback would be built back in April of this year but never confirmed it would be the Etherea. However, it’s believed that Sunderland won’t be able to handle production demands of this upcoming C-segment entry. Infiniti has said it will make a final decision about where its new hatchback will be built at a later date. Production is slated to begin in 2015 which will further Infiniti’s reach into the premium automotive market. As Cable touched upon, Infiniti has a design and technical center at Cranfield, which is developing the all-new hatchback.