Nissan says British car plant hits record output in 2011

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Japanese auto giant Nissan on Wednesday said that its factory in Sunderland, northeast England, produced more than 480,000 cars last year, a record high for a British plant.

Output at the Sunderland plant surged to 480,485 vehicles last year, Nissan said in a statement, as the group was boosted by strong demand for its Qashqai, Juke and Note car models, many of which are sold outside of Britain.

That beat the company's previous record of 423,262 set in 2010 when the Sunderland facility became the first-ever British car factory to exceed the 400,000-mark.

Nissan, partner of France's Renault, added that it employed 5,462 people on the Sunderland site last year, which was also an all-time high.

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

"Our 26th year promises to be equally exciting, as we launch the new battery plant at Sunderland and prepare the plant for production of the Nissan Leaf alongside the Qashqai, Juke and Note."

The group's Sunderland car factory was established in 1984 and began production in 1986.

© 2012 AFP

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