By Marcus Leach

Nissan's Sunderland manufacturing plant has set a new record for a single UK car plant, producing 480,485 vehicles in 2011.

Total production was up 14% from 2010, with the growth attributed to the success of the Qashqai model which accounted for just over 300,000 of the vehicles produced.

The crossover vehicle was the ninth best-selling car in the UK in the first 11 months of 2011, according to the SMMT, with 36,826 sold.

The plant also makes the Juke and Note models.

"We are now back to the volumes we would have expected to have for the year," Nissan's vice president for production in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick, told BBC News.

"We can't make enough of the Qashqai.

"There is less inventory waiting between the factory gate and dealers than there would normally be," he said.

"We certainly don't have fields of unsold cars."

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