26 January 2004

Nissan has topped the UK's production charts for the fourth year running. Boosted by demand for the new Micra launched this time last year, some 331,924 cars were built at the manufacturer's Sunderland plant in 2003, accounting for one in every five cars built in the UK, and besting the plant's previous year 2000 record by almost 4,000 units.

Its Primera and Almera models are also produced at the Wearside facility; the drop-top Micra C+C will also be assembled there when it makes production in 2005. In total, more than 3.5 million cars have been built there since 1984.

'Manufacturing flexibility is something that is becoming increasingly important within the automotive industry,' commented Nissan UK's managing director Colin Dodge. 'Our performance is 2003, in doubling Micra production year-on-year, proves that we are well-equipped to meet similar challenges in the years ahead.'

Our Verdict

Toyota Avensis

The Toyota Avensis is adequate but generally underwhelming family transport

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