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Nissan car plant sets production record

The Nissan car plant in Sunderland set a new production record in 2011, the company has announced.

The plant in north-east England made a total of 480,485 vehicles last year, beating Nissan's previous record of 423,262 set in 2010 when Sunderland became the first UK plant to exceed the 400,000 mark.

"Our 25th anniversary year will go down in UK car production history and all our staff can be proud of the many milestones we have passed," said Nissan's UK manufacturing vice president Kevin Fitzpatrick.

The 2011 figures for Sunderland reflected the first full year of production of the Juke model as well as 24-hour production of the Qashqai and Qashqai+2.

In 2011, the Sunderland plant turned out 244,298 Qashqais, 56,979 Qashqai+2s, 132,606 Jukes and 46,602 units of the Nissan Note.

The number of jobs at Sunderland also reached an all-time high, with 5,462 people directly employed on site.

Last year also saw the production, in January, of the plant's six millionth vehicle.

"Many congratulations to the Nissan team for achieving record-breaking production volumes," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

"They demonstrate the strength of UK automotive manufacturing which continues to buck the economic trend, outperforming 2010 by an anticipated six per cent."

"2011 saw the UK attract a remarkable level of investment, with global vehicle manufacturers committing in excess of £4bn to plants and facilities securing future model production and employment.

"Despite the uncertainty within the eurozone, there is real confidence in the future of UK manufacturing and it will make an increasing contribution to exports, economic growth and employment in the coming years."

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