A snippet of good news for UK manufacturing has appeared amidst all the current doom and gloom. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) confirm that the home-grown Nissan Qashqai – designed in Paddington, engineered in Cranfield, and built in Sunderland – was the nation’s best-selling car of the last 12 months.
The Nissan Qashqai is now officially the UK’s favourite car of 2022, and the first British-built model to top the annual sales charts for 24 years. A total of 42,704 new Qashqais were registered across the UK in 2022 and the figure for December alone stood at an impressive 3,506, according to the SMMT.
No surprise given this is the model that started the whole crossover SUV craze that seems to account for almost every new car on the road today.
With its compact footprint and high driving position, the first-generation Qashqai broke the mould for how a mass-market vehicle should look and feel with its revolutionary ‘crossover’ design. It seems ridiculous to look back now and think that some industry observers were sceptical about the Qashqai’s chances of success when it first arrived back in 2007. But here we are in 2023 and crossovers are now the dominant car design trend with almost all manufacturers firmly seated on the bandwagon.
So, if you’re in the process of deciding on your next lease car there aren’t many reasons why you shouldn’t follow the crowd. And with the Qashqai accounting for 1 in 5 cars built in the UK, and with almost 3.8 million of them rolling off the production line in Sunderland since 2007, it’s quite a sizeable crowd to follow.
Three generations of Qashqai have been on sale in the UK since it was first launched, all of which have regularly appeared on the best-seller lists. However, this is the first time it’s been the year’s best-selling car overall, and the first time a Nissan has topped the annual sales charts.
Sunderland build for Qashqai
Built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, the Qashqai is at the heart of a manufacturing operation that is fast becoming a blueprint for future UK automotive production. Nissan’s recently announced EV36Zero plan combines electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production and will create a sustainable EV manufacturing hub in the north-east of England, supporting thousands of jobs at the plant and its supply chain, and Nissan’s journey to carbon neutrality by 2050.
The latest generation Qashqai is a big part of this future and the first model in Europe to be equipped with Nissan’s unique e-POWER technology, which delivers the benefits of driving an electric car without the need to plug in and recharge. It’s unique technology that’s perfect for car buyers looking for lower emission motoring, but who aren’t quite ready to go fully electric.
Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, said: ‘‘This is a landmark moment for a landmark car and it’s great to see how the latest generation Qashqai has struck a chord with car buyers here in the UK. We’re absolutely thrilled to see this car’s increasing success over the last 16 years, and it’s a fitting tribute to the skills and talents of Nissan’s excellent design, engineering, production, and sales teams all around the UK.”
To celebrate the achievement, an exclusive gold-wrapped Qashqai was created in honour of the 7,000 Nissan employees from around the UK that have contributed to its success.
That’s the one that you can see in the picture, and it’s the only one you can’t actually have so please don’t ask us to get it for you. Alternative Qashqai models, on the other hand, can be leased here.
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