Nissan Sunderland’s best year yet as plant builds 500,000 cars in 2012

The Qashqai is one of the big successes of Nissan's Sunderland plant.
The Qashqai is one of the big successes of Nissan's Sunderland plant.
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CAR chiefs are celebrating after a bumper 2012.

Nissan sold a record number of cars in the UK last year, with 105,834 being snapped up –smashing the car giant’s previous best of 96,269 which they sold in 2011.

Nissan also had a market share of 5.2 per cent, up four per cent on the previous year.

Jim Wright, managing director at Nissan GB, said: “Despite an increasingly competitive market, 2012 was a record year for Nissan – and that’s something to be incredibly proud of.

“Our manufacturing story is just as remarkable, with Nissan’s Sunderland production facility surging through the 500,000 unit barrier in 2012.

“We look forward to building on this success in 2013 with many more new models, including the replacement for the Note.

“We intend to keep breaking records and over the next few years I anticipate many more will fall.”

The news comes as the overall number of new cars sold by all manufacturers in the UK last year reached a four-year high.

Sales of new cars reached 2.04million during 2012, an increase of more than five per cent on the previous year.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms.

“Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists.”

Nissan’s Qashqai, which has had increased sales every year since its launch in 2007, finished 2012 as UK’s sixth best-selling motor.

Mr Wright added: “The Qashqai continues to be a runaway success and the Juke is more than following in its footsteps, showing that we are building exactly the right cars for our customers; cars that are innovative, exciting and for everyone.”

In 2012 Nissan sold 28,862 of the Juke, an yearly increase of 31.7 per cent.

Including Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Nissan sold a total of 115,970 in the UK, up 8.3 per cent from 107,123 in 2011.

The Ford Fiesta, which has been the UK’s best-selling model since 2009, sold more than any other model at 109,000 – followed by the Vauxhall Corsa (89,434), Ford Focus (83,115), Vauxhall Astra (63,023) and Volkswagen Golf (62,021).

Diesel cars took a record 50.8 per cent market share, with sales of just over a million compared with 978,000 petrol vehicles.

Twitter: @SunEchoSteven