New made-in-Europe Nissan Qashqai goes high on lightweight aluminium

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 May 2021


The all-new Qashqai will be Nissan’s first model built in Europe using a significant number of lightweight aluminium panels.

The hood, doors and front fenders are stamped from aluminium alloy, which makes the body of the all-new Qashqai 60kg lighter. This improves efficiency and thereby contributes to reduced emissions. In addition, it helps accommodate more technology, including the all-new vehicle’s electrified powertrain.

Aluminium production at Nissan’s Sunderland plant includes the second extra large press line that was launched last year and the cyclone – a recycling facility that blasts out scrap metal at 150km an hour and can handle more than seven tons of metal an hour, ensuring less waste and a greener production process.

As hoods and doors are stamped into shape, scrap material is shredded and extracted, keeping aluminium grades separate. The separation ensures that Nissan can return high-quality scrap to suppliers for them to turn into aluminium alloy sheets.

This ‘closed-loop’ recycling system reduces waste and CO2 emissions. This contributes to the goal Nissan has set itself of achieving carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the lifecycle of its products by 2050.

Recycling scrap aluminium saves more than 90% of the energy needed to create a comparable amount from raw materials.

Vice President Manufacturing Alan Johnson of Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, said: “We continue to look for ways to make both our vehicles and our manufacturing process more sustainable. The use of lightweight aluminium in the new Qashqai is a great example.”

The new Qashqai follows the new Rogue sold in North America as the second global model for Nissan to feature aluminium parts produced with the closed-loop recycling process. Nissan is considering expanding the application of this process to future models and other factories.