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Nissan breaks new ground

Thursday 17 January 2013 20:00

Nissan’s Wearside plant has become the first in the UK to produce more than half a million cars a year – as new figures show a four-year high in British car production.

The Sunderland factory, which employs 6,225 people, made 510,572 cars last year, which represents 34% of the UK’s entire 1.46 million car output in 2012.

It is also nearly twice the number produced by the next largest competitor, Landrover in Solihull and Heywood.

For the UK as a whole, the annual car manufacturing figures showed production up 9% from 1.34m in 2011.

This figure is the highest since 2007 – the year before the recession hit – and the data also showed the UK exported the largest number of cars in the country’s history, with 1.21 million sold overseas, representing a 7.8 per cent upsurge on 2011.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: "2012 was a very good year for UK car production with record levels of exports and volumes at their highest since 2008.

"The outlook for 2013 remains positive with demand in many faster-growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies.

"The £6bn of investment committed to UK facilities, new model programmes and research and development signals a bright future and many new opportunities for companies in the supply chain.”