VIENNA – Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is considering increasing capacity at its Sunderland, U.K., plant to meet growing demand for the new Qashqai compact cross/utility vehicle.

Nissan started selling the Qashqai in Europe in March and in some markets in April.

“The sales plan is to sell more than 100,000 Qashqai this year, and we are heading very much towards that target,” says Brian Carolin, senior vice president-sales and marketing for Nissan Europe SAS. “In fact, I think we will exceed the target,” he adds.

Original plans called for the production of about 130,000 units of the new CUV in its first full year.

“The manufacturing facility in Sunderland is very flexible, and we are currently studying whether we can increase the capacity quite quickly,” says Carolin. “Definitely, I think we will be increasing the production.

“We are getting 70% conquest sales, which is very high for any car manufacturer.”