Nissan Exports New Car Model Home

Model made in England will now be available in Japan.

Nissan, the Japanese car giant, said on May 17 that it has begun to export the group's new Micra model to its home market from its factory in Sunderland, northeast England. The plant's new Micra C+C convertible would be available in Japan from July, Nissan said.

In March this year, Nissan's Sunderland car plant exported its first model to Japan in more than a decade -- the Qashqai. The Qashqai is a hybrid off-road compact car aimed primarily at the European market "Coming so soon after Qashqai, this is great news for our plant," said Trevor Mann, Nissan's senior vice president for Manufacturing Europe.

Initially, about 1,500 cars will be shipped to Japan, with customer demand monitored once the car reaches Japanese showrooms in July, Nissan said.

Designed, engineered and manufactured in Britain, C+C began rolling off the Sunderland production line in November 2005 following investment totaling 95 million pounds. Since then, more than 23,000 have been exported to more than 45 markets around the world. The C+Cs bound for Japan are described as "top spec (specification) models," offering keyless entry, leather upholstery and a folding glass roof.

Nissan is Japan's second-largest automaker. Under an alliance with French carmaker Renault agreed in 1999, Renault owns 44.4% of Nissan, which in turn owns 15% of its French partner.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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