After 20 years of production, Nissan’s Sunderland plant on Monday (19 February) built its 4.5 millionth vehicle.


The landmark vehicle, a red 1.6-litre Note SE, is destined for a UK customer.


This milestone coincided with the plant being named as the UK’s biggest car exporter for nine consecutive years, and the UK’s biggest car producer for seven years running.


Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) data showed that the plant exported over 230,000 Micra, Primera, Almera and Note models last year to 45 markets worldwide.


Over 300,000 vehicles were built during 2006.
Plant managing director Trevor Mann said: “With the current model line up of Note, Primera, Micra, C+C and the new Qashqai, we expect our annual production volume to increase to 370,000 units by the end of the year, which will be a plant record.”


The new Qashqai is currently being delivered to European dealerships in preparation for start of sales on 1 March.