“This fresh investment from Nissan is a real boost both for the staff at its Sunderland plant and for the wider automotive industry in our region,” said One North East Chairman Margaret Fay.
According to the manufacturer, there will be around 60,000 MR engines produced in Sunderland each year, depending on the market.
The engine, which is compliant with Euro 5 and 6 emissions regulations, will be available as an option on several models including the Qashqai and Qashqai +2, models that are also produced in Sunderland.
The Sunderland facility will also start production of Europe's first lithium-ion battery plant in 2012, while production of the Leaf model is scheduled to start in early 2013. The plant will build batteries for both Nissan and Renault.
“In recent years our employees have focused on improving the overall competitiveness of our engine operation so we are able to bring new business like this to the plant,” Kevin Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Manufacturing in the UK, said in a release. “The involvement of One North East has also been vital to the success of this project and I would like to thank them for their ongoing support.”
“Winning the MR engine is good news in terms of jobs, both here and amongst our suppliers, and it also puts our plant in a strong position to bid for future engine derivatives,” added Fitzpatrick.