Nissan produced 480,485 vehicles at its Sunderland plant in 2011, up 14% from 2010 and a new record for a single UK car plant.
The growth was largely down to the success of the Qashqai models, of which just over 300,000 were made.
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.
Nissan's vice president for production in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick, said that the company had managed to limit disruption from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami by cancelling some overtime work, extending the Easter holidays and shortening the Christmas break.
"We are now back to the volumes we would have expected to have for the year," he told BBC News.
The Sunderland plant has two production lines, one of which makes the Qashqai on three shifts, running 24 hours a day, five days a week. There are also overtime shifts at the weekend.
"We can't make enough of the Qashqai," Mr Fitzpatrick said.
"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."
Extra staff were taken on to meet demand. There are now 5,462 people directly employed at the site.