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Mike Stevens | Jun 9, 2011

Nissan's Dualis compact SUV is the first of the Japanese carmaker's models developed entirely in the UK, from the drawing board to final development stages.

This week, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has announced that the second generation of the popular crossover will also be developed in the UK - including a $295 million investment in the company's Sunderland plant and staff.

The new Dualis - sold in Europe as the Qashqai - will be styled at Nissan's European Design Centre in Paddington, with engineering to be carried out at the company's Technical Centre Europe in Bedfordshire.

Production will continue at Nissan's Sunderland plant, where the one millionth Dualis is expected to roll off the assembly line later this month.

“This investment from Nissan is fantastic news and a great demonstration of the strength and vitality of the UK car industry," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

"That future manufacturing and R&D has been secured is a tribute to the skill, expertise and hard work of Nissan’s UK workforce."

The current first-generation Dualis made its international debut in 2006, with a styling and engineering update arriving in Australia early last year.

In Australia, the Dualis is currently the fourth-best selling model (691 in May 2011) in the Nissan line-up, trailing the Micra (693), the X-Trail (892) and the Navara (1983).

In the compact SUV segment, the Dualis finished May sales in fourth place behind the X-Trail, the Subaru Forester (1004) and the Hyundai ix35 (1035).

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