Nissan Motor Co. announced on Monday that it will spend £2.4 million ($4.8 million) to ramp up production capacity for its Qashqai crossover sport-utility vehicles at its Sunderland plant in the U.K.

The additional investment is expected to increase production by 20 percent. Since its launch in February until May of this year, the plant has produced 60,000 Qashqai vehicles.

The plant is expected to make more than 130,000 Qashqai vehicles by the end of the company's 2007 fiscal year, which ends in March 2008.

The model was released in Japan on May 23 as the Dualis and already received 7,000 orders in Japan as of last week. The company had initially estimated to sell about 2,000 units per month.