Nissan takes first place in North East’s Top 200 companies

Regional car giant Nissan has taken the top spot in our North East's Top 200 awards for the third time in a row

Adrian Smart received the award for Number 1 company on behalf of Nissan

The global success story that is regional car giant Nissan has clocked up another triumph, accelerating into first place in the North East’s Top 200 companies by turnover.

The company took the title for an impressive third time in a row in the awards run by The Journal in conjunction with Sintons Law Firm and Newcastle University Business School.

Nissan’s revenues rocked by three-quarters of a billion pounds to £5.05bn, underpinning the company’s importance to the regional economy.

It also took the top spot in the Inbound Businesses category. All awards were presented in a ceremony at Gateshead’s Hilton Hotel yesterday, attended by scores of the region’s business people.

Opening proceedings, Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “Green shoots may be appearing now but this data is from a year ago when the companies on today’s listwere operating in difficult conditions so congratulations to every one of you.”


Dr Joanna Berry, of Newcastle University Business School (NUBS), added: “The Top 200 has never had such critical importance during the current economic climate.

“Similarly it is of critical importance that NUBS is here today to celebrate the region’s Top 200 businesses and use this opportunity to show that, here in the North East, we are continuing a tough but, thus far, hugely-heartening mission to recovery.”

Accepting his award as the number-one company in the Top 200 regional business, Adrian Smart, Nissan’s HR director, attributed his company’s success to two things.

He said: “Fundamentally it’s our workforce that has put in such a hard effort, making Nissan a real success story - that’s one of our key strengths, we always rise to a challenge in Nissan.

“And I think the second thing is our products, we’re producing very strong products that are really appreciated in the workplace.

“The Qashqui is very successful, and the Juke, and many of our products are doing really well throughout the European region.

“We recently announced the introduction of the luxury brand Infinity, a new chapter in our success story and this raises the bar to an incredible level in terms of quality for the plant, it’s great for our company.”

For the future, he said Nissan was just about to launch its third shift on the production line.

“We’re currently recruiting heavily for that, it will be launched early in the new year.

“That’s one of the key areas of our future, making sure we go to 24-hour production on both lines.”

About 400 people will be recruited to join this third production line, taking Nissan’s headcount to 6,500 at the Wearside plant.

The other first-place award winners at yesterday’s ceremony were: Private Equity Backed Businesses - R&R Ice Cream; Privately Owned Businesses - Addison Motors (Benfield); PLCs - Go Ahead Group; Highest Climber - Wellstream; and Highest New Entry - HC-One Ltd.

:: On page 35 of today’s Top 200’ publication, there is an inaccuracy in the North East Businesses By Profits Made table.

The final column of the table relating to the change in profits over the past 12 months should be measured in £m and not percentage (%). Please see right for the correct table.

In addition, on page 36 of the same publication, the first column of the Shares: Measuring Performance table, Market Cap is measured in £m.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer