Nissan has marked production of its 250,000th vehicle at the manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, during the factory's tenth year of operation.

The landmark vehicle was a blue Nissan Qashqai 2.0L 4WD CVT, the latest milestone for the plant workforce, who this year celebrated the decade anniversary of the St. Petersburg site with the launch of the new Nissan Murano.

With models such as the Qashqai engineered for Russian driving conditions, Nissan now manufactures 95% of its models sold in the country.

"The progress achieved highlights the growth and development of the youngest Nissan car-making plant in Europe, whose primary goal is to improve its performance with each new vehicle rolling off our production line," said Nissan Manufacturing in Russia VP, Dmitry Mikhailov.

More than 375m parts, 2,000t of paint and 28,300 working hours have been involved since production started in June, 2009.

Total investment in the plant now stands at EUR312m (US$336m) with current production covering the Nissan X-Trail, Pathfinder, Qashqai and Murano.

Manufactured in St. Petersburg for the Russian market since October 2015, Nissan engineers in Russia made more than 200 changes to Qashqai for the country's road and weather conditions, including alterations in chassis design, increased ground clearance and localised tyres.

In the 13 months since, 21,450 Qashqais have been manufactured in St. Petersburg.

Nissan in Europe employs more than 17,000 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations.

Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 635,000 vehicles. 

Data from just-auto's QUBE service shows Nissan's recently-revived Datsun brand has also given the company an additional and 'new' low-cost product with which to approach young consumers in emerging markets, especially with small cars which benefit from using major component systems developed elsewhere in the group.

This translates into higher volumes and margins through improved group-wide scale economies. To date, the Datsun brand has been mainly targeted at ASEAN markets, as well as Russia and needs a wider distribution set of distribution channels to achieve its potential.

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