Nissan’s push toward carbon neutrality is picking up pace, with the all-electric LEAF now outnumbering the Bluebird production at the company’s Sunderland plant.
From 1986 to 1990, the Bluebird was manufactured in a total of 187,178 units. When production ramped up, each Bluebird took over 22 hours to build. Now, 35 years later, advancements in manufacturing technology have shortened the Nissan LEAF’s production time to 10 hours and 195,380 units have been produced.
Switching from wheel nuts and carburetors to electrical architecture and cyber security, Nissan’s unrelenting commitment to quality has not changed. The Sunderland plant’s workforce has grown from 430 in 1986 to 6,000 today, with 19 employees who started in 1986 still working on the Nissan LEAF.
Bluebird Job 1, the first car off the line, is the centerpiece of a local museum exhibit honoring the importance of that first vehicle. With the recent production of the 500,000th Nissan LEAF in Sunderland, world’s first mass-produced electric car has already written its name into the history books.
Alan Johnson, Vice President Manufacturing, at Nissan Sunderland Plant, said: “Bluebird was an iconic model for the plant and evokes fond memories among all Nissan enthusiasts.
“LEAF volumes overtaking Bluebird shows how dramatically our manufacturing innovation, skills and processes have evolved as we drive towards electrification.
“LEAF overtaking Bluebird is a landmark – but there are many more to come for our team at the plant as our electrified line up grows.”
Over the past decade the car has won accolades around the world including Car of the Year 2011 in Europe, World Car of the Year 2011 and Car of the Year Japan in 2011 and 2012. There are now over half a million LEAF on the road around the world.
Nissan has set itself the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle offering in key markets will be electrified, as well as introducing innovations in electrification and manufacturing technology.
The company recently announced plans for a major expansion to renewable energy generation at its record-breaking plant in Sunderland, UK with a proposed 20MW solar farm extension.
If approved, the 37,000-panel extension would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from all onsite renewables, enough to build every single zero-emission Nissan LEAF sold in Europe.
|Acceleration 0 – 100km/h||12.5 seconds||6.9 seconds (e+)|
|Tech||Electric windows, central locking, electric mirrors, heated rear windscreen, radio cassette player||ProPILOT, e-Pedal|
Nissan Safety Shield including Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, High-Beam Assist
NissanConnect Services 8″ Touchscreen Navigation and Entertainment System, Rear View Camera, Active Charging, Eco-Routing, Driving Range, Preset Air Conditioning, Nearby Charging Stations
Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® Smartphone App Integration
|Engine/Battery||2.0 Diesel Engine||62kWh battery|
|Range||729 km||Up to 385 km (62kWh)|
|Torque||127 Nm at 2.400 r/m||340 Nm|
|Production Volume in Sunderland||187,178||195,380 and counting|
|Number on the road worldwide||300+||500,000 and counting|