NEW car sales raced to a six-year high in 2013 with the Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai claiming a top 10 place.
A total of 2,264,737 new cars were registered in 2013 – a 10.8 per cent rise on the 2012 figure and the best annual total since the pre-recession year of 2007, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
The 2013 total was boosted by a 23.76 per cent rise, to nearly 153,000, in sales in December – the 22nd successive month of increases.
On average, an additional 600 extra cars were registered per day in 2013 than in 2012.
Private sales made up 1.07million of the registrations last year – a rise of 15.6 per cent on the 2012 share.
This is the second year in a row the Nissan Qashqai, made at the firm’s Washington plant, was the sixth most popular car.
The supermini sector was the largest last year, accounting for nearly 36 per cent of all sales.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country’s economic recovery.
“While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth.”
The latest figures are good news for the city following another successful 12 months for Wearside’s car industry.
Thanks to Nissan, the region continues to attract industry suppliers.
In November, Faurecia announced plans to expand its operation on Washington’s Pattinson South Industrial Estate by creating 60 jobs.
The company makes seats, cockpits, door panels, acoustics and soft trims for Nissan, Renault, Cadillac, BMW and Ford.