Japanese car giant Nissan is to launch a temporary third production shift at its main UK plant, creating 400 new jobs and safeguarding 160 temporary posts, it was announced today.
The firm said the development at its Sunderland factory was in response to continuing high demand for its Qashqai model.
Demand is now out-stripping supply and the firm expects another sales boost in March when an updated version of the car goes on sale in Europe.
A nightshift will be added at Sunderland from May although Nissan said the market will dictate how long it will remain in operation, adding it expected it to be for six months.
Nissan launched a temporary nightshift in June 2008, but it was withdrawn a year ago after the global downturn hit car sales.
Trevor Mann, Nissan's senior vice president for manufacturing in Europe, said: "Nissan is committed to delivering customers' cars as quickly as possible, and our staff in Sunderland have been working incredibly hard to achieve this.
"However, Qashqai continues to buck the trend of a generally depressed market, and we have now identified the need for an additional shift to cover a high volume request in the first half of the 2010 financial year.
"Doing so will allow us to get cars to our customers more quickly and also provide the significant increase to production needed to fill the delivery pipeline to our European dealer network."
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "Today we have both good and unwelcome news, with Nissan taking on an additional 400 workers, but Shops Direct letting workers go. Nissan is a good example of a top class manufacturer producing an excellent product that's in great demand.
"The economy is growing again, and Government is focussed on supporting growth and job opportunities and working hard with those affected by job losses in order to get people back into work as quickly as possible."Reuse content