Hot on the heels of the announcement that the Nissan Note replacement would be made in Sunderland comes the news that another new model will be added in 2014.

The second new model is coyly referred to as a "midsized hatchback". In fact, it will be a Nissan competitor to the Focus and Golf.


The new car is a distant successor to the utterly mediocre Almera hatchback that was killed off when the Qashqai was introduced. The similarly-sized Qashqai has been a runaway success, but Nissan has decided that it cannot do without a conventional lower medium hatchback forever. It reckons that enough people will have forgotten it past efforts (sorry Nissan for reminding people of your last one), and that it can now make a fresh start.

With Nissan sales on the up, there is no reason why it cannot finally make a success of this market. All it has to do is look at Toyota's attempt, the Auris, and do exactly the opposite.

It is certainly great news for Sunderland. Total production is on target to hit 550,000 cars a year by 2014. How big is that in global terms? Very big indeed. It is more than the entire car production of Italy last year (yes really: all the Italian made Fiats, Alfa, Lancias, Ferraris et al did not add up to more than 500,000). It is also more than any single UK car factory has ever previously managed.