Nissan is to build the new Invitation model at its Sunderland facility, a move that will create 400 jobs at the plant and 1,600 across the supply chain.
In addition to vehicle assembly, the Sunderland facility will carry out axle production, cylinder head casting, camshaft machining and engine assembly — representing an overall investment of £125m by Nissan in the UK.
The company said in a statement that the project is also supported by a £9.3m investment grant from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund.
Scheduled for launch in 2013, the Invitation will have an initial annual volume of around 100,000 units depending on market demand and will compete within the core mainstream B segment.
In a statement, Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of IMechE said: ‘This is another sign of a growing renaissance in UK car manufacturing.
‘The sector is growing at over 15 per cent a year, creating thousands of jobs and driving British manufacturing out of the doldrums.
‘Nissan’s Sunderland plant is the company’s most productive plant in Europe, which is both a testament to the UK’s world-class engineers and a signal as to why our car manufacturers are seeing such impressive growth.’