Nissan is investing £250m equipping its Sunderland factory to make a new premium compact car model, which will create 1,000 jobs across the UK's automotive sector.
Colin Dodge CBE, Nissan’s vice president, described the first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland as a milestone, with the car set to be exported around the world.
Prime Minister David Cameron commented that the investment will provide a vital boost for the North East after it was hit badly by the recession.
When production begins in 2015, Infiniti will become the first new car brand to be manufactured in the UK on this scale in 23 years.
Competing in the the premium segment for the first time, against brands such as Mini, which is made in Oxford, Nissan will create 280 new jobs at the Sunderland plant, enabling it to produce 60,000 Infiniti models a year.
However, the move means that new hatchback set to be made in Sunderland will move to another factory due to capacity limitations.
The new Infiniti is being developed with alongside Nissan’s London design centre and European Technical Centre at Cranfield University. Sunderland will be the first Nissan plant to make the new Infiniti, which already manufacturers the Qashqai and Juke models.
“Not only will the new car be made here and exported all over the world, the UK has already contributed to its design and development,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Nissan’s Sunderland Plant will produce more than half a million cars for the first time, the first UK manufacturer to achieve this milestone.
Employment on the site passed 6,000 for the first time in 2012 and it now exports more than five million cars a year.