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Nissan halts Leaf production in Sunderland as it begins switch to new model

New generation Leaf is expected to arrive in 2026.

Cameron visits Nissan factory

Nissan has halted production of its electric Leaf at its Sunderland plant as the firm begins the move to a new model.

The Leaf has been a hugely important model for Nissan, with 270,000 examples produced since 2013 and 13 years since Nissan brought out the first generation in the UK.

But the existing Leaf is bowing out for a new model which is expected in 2026 – alongside new generations of the Juke and Qashqai – thanks to £2bn of investment by Nissan.

Nissan has stated, however, that the current Leaf will remain on sale for the time being and ‘is available to customers as normal’.

The next generation of Leaf will continue to be produced at the Sunderland plant, too, having confirmed the news back in November 2023, with the creation of three ‘gigafactory’ battery plants expected to aid the production of these new electric vehicles.

At the time, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the investment would ‘no doubt secure Sunderland’s future as the UK’s Silicon Valley for electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing’.

Prime Minister visit to Nissan car plant
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to the Nissan car plant in Sunderland. The Government has confirmed Nissan will produce two new electric vehicle models at its Sunderland plant, supporting thousands of jobs in the UK. The Japanese carmaker’s new electric Qashqai and Juke models will be manufactured at the site. Picture date: Friday November 24, 2023.

A Nissan spokesperson said: “After 13 years of great success, the current generation of Nissan Leaf, the world’s first mass-market 100% electric vehicle, is approaching the end of its life cycle in Europe.

“Depending on the market’s inventory, European customers will be able to place their orders until vehicle stocks run out.

“Nissan has already announced a new line-up of 100% electric vehicles for the European market to be produced by the Sunderland plant as part of our commitment to sustainability and electrification.”

Former Aston Martin CEO and previous Nissan COO Andy Palmer said in a post to X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was ‘saddened’ that production of the Leaf was ending, adding ‘the fact that these vehicles were built in Sunderland was a great point of pride.’

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