Nissan Leaf. Source: Nissan
Nissan Leaf. Source: Nissan

Nissan will establish an electric vehicle training centre as part of its move to a new headquarters in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburb of Mulgrave, as it prepares to release the second generation of its electric Leaf.

The new training facility will be used to prepare local Nissan dealers, service personnel and engineers on the operation and maintenance of the new all-electric models, in a move that is set to bolster Australia’s emerging EV industry.

Nissan is set to launch the next generation all-electric Nissan Leaf to the Australia market in July. The new model recently received a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

“This move shows that Victoria has the skilled workers that global companies need and leads the nation in advanced manufacturing, automotive design and engineering capability,” Victorian minister for jobs Martin Pakula said in a statement.

“Nissan’s decision to maintain a national training facility incorporating the latest electric vehicle technology is a big win for Victoria, giving our state a key competitive advantage on the global stage.”

The Victorian government will provide financial support to Nissan for the establishment of the training centre, that will form part of Nissan’s larger move to a new headquarters in Mulgrave.

Personnel will travel from across Australia and New Zealand for training at the new facility, that is expected to be up and running in late-2020.

Nissan will re-locate its head office from its current location in Dandenong, to Mulgrave, shifting to a custom-built building in the new locale. Nissan currently employs 200 high-skilled workers locally, who produce a range of car parts and components for the local market, and for export.

“This is another vote of confidence for doing business in Victoria and even better news for Mulgrave and Dandenong South which has a long and proud history of being a home for manufacturing,” local member, and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said.

The new headquarters will be located just 25km from Melbourne’s CBD, and has been developed to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Nissan will take up residence across five floors of the Mulgrave headquarters, which provides offices and 1,850 square metres of workshops.

“Enjoying the modern facilities that come with a new office will take our business to new heights, helping us to better look after all of our stakeholders, particularly current and future Nissan owners.” Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester said.

“A national base for many automotive manufacturers, Victoria has a strong automotive fabric and a talented workforce that is perfectly suited to the demands of the industry.”

Nissan’s commitment to remaining in Melbourne follows similar decisions by other electric vehicle companies to establish a base in Victoria.

Volgren recently announced that it would produce its first all-electric bus at its Dandenong factory. SAE Electric will also establish an electric vehicle assembly plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The shift to Mulgrave will be Nissan’s first change of headquarters, after establishing its existing location in Dandenong in 1977.

Nissan will retain 400 jobs in Victoria as part of the relocation, expanding its workforce by an additional 60 positions.

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