Staff at Nissan Sunderland plant capped their 25th anniversary year in style with a string of new UK car industry records.
In 2011, the plant made a total of 480,485 vehicles, dwarfing the 2010 total of 423,262 vehicles, which itself was the first time any UK car plant had ever made more than 400,000 cars in one year.
Demand for the Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Juke meant the plant exceeded that previous record on November 16. November itself was a record month for the plant with 46,606 vehicles made - the highest monthly total in the plant's history.
Nissan's success in the crossover market was demonstrated by the production totals of its top-selling models Qashqai (244,298), Qashqai+2 (56,979) and Juke (132,606). In addition, the plant made 46,602 units of the Nissan Note.
This new record reflects the first full calendar year in which there has been 24-hour production of the Qashqai and Qashqai+2 and was also the first full year of Juke production, which included the addition of a 4X4 Juke and the limited edition Juke Kuro.
Additionally, extra staff were hired at the plant to help meet the customer demand which led to Nissan achieving an all-time record European market share of 4.2% in September.
The number of jobs at Nissan Sunderland plant also reached an all-time high with 5,462 people directly employed on site.
This year will see the Sunderland plant set to launch Nissan's first lithium-ion battery production facility outside Japan and preparing for the start of Nissan Leaf production in 2013.
Nissan's vice president for manufacturing in the UK Kevin Fitzpatrick said: "Our 25th anniversary year will go down in UK car production history and all our staff can be proud of the many milestones we have passed.
"Our 26th year promises to be equally exciting, as we launch the new battery plant at Sunderland and prepare the plant for production of the 100% Nissan Leaf alongside the Qashqai, Juke and Note."