Sunderland Nissan models make the UK motoring top 10

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

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SUNDERLAND’S Nissan factory was today celebrating having two models in the UK’s top 10 most popular cars.

The Wearside-built Qashqai is named the country’s fifth favourite car, while its little brother, the Juke, motors its way into the league table for the first time.

It is fantastic news for the Washington factory, which celebrated a record year in 2012.

The latest figures, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), showed the Qashqai claimed its fifth position due to sales last month – its most successful month to date.

Meanwhile, the Juke underlined its growing popularity by breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

The figures come just weeks after official SMMT statistics showed the carmaker’s overall sales rocketed by 9.9 per cent last year, helping it to a record 5.2 per cent share of the UK’s new car market.

Jim Wright, managing director of Nissan GB, said: “Our innovative and exciting products continue to connect with British motorists and we are making the kinds of vehicles they really want to drive.

“The Qashqai has been a remarkable vehicle for us and continues to defy industry convention by becoming more popular with each passing year.

“Juke has also been a phenomenally successful model and appears to be following the trend set by its big brother.

“If anything, Juke is performing even more impressively than Qashqai was at the same period in its life.

“The next year will see the arrival of more innovative and exciting product from Nissan, so I’m certain more records will fall.”

It’s been an exciting few months for the Sunderland plant, which ended last year announcing 300 jobs and a new model.

Seen as a massive vote of confidence in the Wearside workforce, the Japanese giant agreed to build its luxury model, the Infiniti marque in the region.

The move marked an investment of about £250million in the plant and secured 1,000 jobs in the city and across the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The auto sector is one of our great success stories and a testimony to government and private sector working together.”

Twitter: @craigjourno