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New Nissan 'Car of the Year'

The new generation Qashqai went into production at the Sunderland plant late last year. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
The Qashqai is the most popular model ever made at the Nissan plant Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
286,000 of the cars were made in Sunderland in 2013 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
In October the Sunderland plant broke the 50,000 production barrier for the first time Credit: ITV Tyne Tees


Sunderland-built Qashqai is Car of the Year

The Nissan Qashqai Credit: PA

The Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai has been named Car of the Year for 2014 by What Car? The model was also named best small sports utility vehicle. The results were announced at a ceremony in London.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett praised Nissan for thinking "of every last detail".

The Qashqai was the sixth best-selling car in the UK in 2013, with sales passing 50,000.

Multi-billion pound Hitachi contract confirmed

The government has confirmed a £4.5 billion pound Hitachi contract will be used to build the next generation of Britain's Intercity Trains.

A new factory will be built at the site in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, which will manufacture 92 high capacity trains to replace the existing Intercity 125's.

The contract will create 900 new jobs in the area and thousands more in the supply chain.

Hitachi has also confirmed that a Research and Development centre will also be based at the Newton Aycliffe site which could help the firm to secure more European rail contracts in the future.