Nissan has been recognised as the largest car producer in the UK for the fourth year running.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that production at the company’s Sunderland plant accounted for one in every five cars built in the UK last year.

The 331,924 cars produced on Wearside in 2003 also represents a record for the plant. The figure is more than 35,000 units up on its 2002 volume, and nearly 4,000 units above the previous record, achieved in 2000.

The substantial year-on-year increase was fuelled by excellent demand for the new Micra following its European launch last January.

The Primera and Almera models are also produced in Sunderland, and the plant will build the Micra C+C cabriolet from autumn 2005.

Managing Director of Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Colin Dodge, said: "I’m particularly pleased that we had our busiest year ever in 2003 as it reflects the huge popularity of the Micra across Europe. I’d also like to pay tribute to our workforce in adapting so well to changing market demand.

"Manufacturing flexibility is something that is becoming increasingly important within the automotive industry. Our performance in 2003, in doubling Micra production year-on-year, proves that we are well-equipped to meet similar challenges in the years ahead."

Published : 26/01/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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