About 1,100 jobs will be secured on Wearside with the production of Nissan’s newest model, says the firm.
A concept version of the Qazana, a five-door car, is being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.
The production model will be built at the company’s Sunderland factory from mid-2010 – the same year that the plant is due to cease work on the Micra.
Construction of the Qazana will maintain existing jobs rather than creating new ones, said Nissan.
It will also secure 2,000 jobs in the “local supply base”, according to the firm.
Trevor Mann, Nissan’s senior vice-president for manufacturing in Europe, said: “What we need to make sure is that the car is translated from the concept into a very good product in terms of design and quality at the right cost.”
The model will secure jobs at the plant for four or five years, said Nissan
He added: “This is not a replacement Micra as such, but it will obviously be a replacement in workload for the fantastic workforce we have at the plant in Sunderland.
“We wouldn’t anticipate a significant growth in jobs by this product but certainly it secures employment for the life of this model which would be another four or five years beyond 2010.”
In January, Nissan announced it was cutting a quarter of its 4,900-strong workforce at Sunderland, blaming the worldwide downturn in car sales.
But Mr Mann said he believes the market will be stronger by the time the Qazana goes into production.
He said: “There isn’t a global downturn that hasn’t actually turned back on itself and we believe the Qazana is the right product for the market.”
Source: BBC News