Production of the Infiniti Q30 Premium Hatchback Starts in Britain

Production of the Infiniti Q30 Premium Hatchback Starts in Britain 3 photos
Photo: Infiniti
Production of the Infiniti Q30 Premium Hatchback Starts in BritainProduction of the Infiniti Q30 Premium Hatchback Starts in Britain
Production of the first Infiniti models made in the UK has started, as the first Q30 premium hatchbacks rolled off the assembly line today. It happened at the Sunderland Plant, the same factory that makes the Juke and Qashqai.
A lot is riding on the Q30. In the first 11 months of 2015, Infiniti sold almost 192,000 new cars worldwide. Considering the Japanese company has an entire line of SUVs, sedans and coupes, those are hardly encouraging numbers. The Q30 and QX30 are expected to double those figures within a few years.

The £250 million invested in a new paint job and assembly line extension in Sunderland reflect the importance of this car. This is the first time an Infiniti model has been manufactured anywhere in Europe and marks the first new car brand in 23 years to be manufactured in Britain on a large scale. It's supported by a £9.2m grant from the UK Government through the Regional Growth Fund.

“To prepare for Q30 production, we invested 250-million pounds here in the UK. This is creating more than 1,000 new jobs in the UK automotive industry. Q30 production is further strengthening our premium vehicle manufacturing capability in Sunderland, and exports to global markets such as China and North America signal the next phase in the expansion of Infiniti and a new chapter for our UK plant,” said Trevor Mann, Chief Performance Officer of Nissan Motor Corporation.

The decision to build a compact luxury hatchback in Britain was made in 2012. However, the task to develop the car was given to the Germans, as part of a partnership between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Daimler.

Despite Infiniti having access to the CMF platform that underpins the Nissan Pulsar, the company chose to rely on the expertise of Mercedes-Benz. That's why Q30 models share their architecture, engines and several interior components with the A-Class.

All the engines are turbocharged, and they include the tried and tested 1.5-liter diesel, a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, and the 2.0-liter from the CLA 250. Even the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox and AWD system have been dropped into the Q30.

Having just been revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the QX30 should also start rolling off the line in about one month. The first vehicles are to be exported from Sunderland to the US and China.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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