WEARSIDE car maker Nissan is at the forefront of the North East’s record export charge, according to new figures.
The region has experienced its best-ever trade performance, with exports hitting a total of almost £12billion.
Nissan’s plant in Washington had a record production year, boosting the export value of goods by £1billion.
The remainder of the local manufacturing sector helped boost the export figures by an additional £1billion.
But the surge in exports – up 24 per cent from £9.6billion to £11.9billion – was met with a similar £2bn rise in imports.
Another highlight was the region’s performance in the last quarter of 2010, with exports of £3.3billion, which was also the best on record.