These days, Japanese manufacturers seem to rule the roost as far as making and selling cars in the UK is concerned. With the likes of Ford, Peugeot and Mini all trailing, the biggest car manufacturer present in the country is Japanese giant Nissan.
In 2010 alone, they made well over 470,000 different vehicles, 270,000 of them their highly-successful Qashqai SUV model.
Nissan have long had a significant presence in the country – their massive plant in Sunderland is renowned for being one of the most productive. As a sign of faith in the plant’s ability to deliver for the company, a further 280 jobs were created a year ago in order to help aid assembly of the new Infiniti range, which is expected to sell pretty well on these shores.
-Dark days behind them
Partly helped by Nissan’s continued success, the UK car market managed to rebound earlier this year after tough times for dealers. At the beginning of 2013, the biggest percentage growth for more than a decade was recorded, showing that the worst may be over.
Nissan’s sales of the Qashqai, Micra and investment in its new hybrid mode, the Leaf, may see the market move forward a little bit more.
Investment in green technology could be the key to future success for Nissan. Should the Leaf become a hit, then it may lead to the Japanese firm deciding to stay put in Sunderland at the very least. As Nissan have been a motoring mainstay in the UK for around quarter of a century, it seems unlikely that they’ll pull out of the market anytime soon.
Nissan’s presence has yielded something of a mixed bag in terms of memorable cars. Some of their greatest models haven’t even made it to UK showrooms though, one example being the incredibly sporty GT-R. Although they’re rare to find here, the GT-R is more than a match for the likes of the Jaguar F-Type, the latest model being the fastest of all.
Their most popular models range from the sensible Micra to the GT-R and 370Z, but is Nissan’s dominance of the UK market necessarily a good thing?
“Nissans are seen as cars which hold their value well for a few years, but as a result, they can be expensive to buy used”, commented a spokesperson from Autoweb.
“Despite that, they’re generally seen as sensible, especially the Micra and Leaf, which is expected to fly from showrooms more than any other electric car”, they added.