The Nissan Production Line

Nissan’s factory in Washington, near Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear, builds the Qashqai, Juke and Note models. It produced 480,485 cars in 2011, a record for a UK car plant. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian.

Nissan’s production line in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Nissan opened Britain’s largest car plant in Sunderland in 1986.

An employee on the production line. Parts travel through an automated chain of spark-firing weld robots and skilled workers fitting a dashboard every three seconds.

A machine on the production line stamps out 22 car doors every minute.

An employee fits a car door. Four decades ago a third of UK-made cars were exported. Now it is eight out of 10.

A digital screen in the factory. Russia is its biggest market, and many cars go to Ukraine, Turkey and Morocco.

A perfectly formed vehicle trundles out every 60 seconds.

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