SUPPLIERS, workers, politicians and union leaders were last night united in hailing Nissan's announcement of 2,000 new jobs as a major coup for the North-East.

The Japanese car maker is creating 400 jobs its Sunderland factory and 1,600 more across the supply chain after deciding to build its new family hatchback in this region.

The move offered a major boost to companies which depend on the car giant to fill their order books.

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Among those set to benefit from Nissan's vote of confidence in the North-East were plastic injection moulding company Nifco UK, which recently moved into an £8.5m factory in Eaglescliffe; Formula Plastics of Newton Aycliffe, as well as warehousing specialist Vantec and engineering firm Unipres, both based on Wearside.

Mike Matthews, managing director of Nifco UK said: "This represents a fantastic opportunity for all of Nissan's local supply chain, and as a hugely important customer of ours, we hope that we can continue to strengthen this relationship, and grow with them.

"The North-East is growing a reputation as a formidable force in manufacturing, and the fact that Nissan Sunderland is chosen time-and-time again as the site that will build new models for the brand really does demonstrate the belief Nissan has in its Wearside plant, something that reflects the strength of the local supply chain here."

The deal will bring the total number of people employed at Nissan Sunderland to about 6,000 - its highest ever level. Furthermore, it will support an additional 24,000 jobs, the majority of them based in this region.

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said the announcement was further proof that the region could now claim to sit at the heart of World car manufacturing.

The decision will involve an investment of £125m by Nissan, which was secured following a promise of £9.3m public money from the governments enterprise fund.

Tony Murphy, regional spokesman for union Unite hoped that was a sign that the coalition was serious about supporting manufacturing. He said: "The success of the British car industry is proof that with the right support and investment, UK manufacturing can flourish.

"The government must now go further with a robust and interventionist strategy to defend and create jobs."

The new car, which will be based on the Invitation prototype model unveiled yesterday at the Geneva Motor Show, goes into production next year as a replacement for the Nissan Note. It will join the Nissan Quashai, Juke and the all-electric Leaf on the Sunderland production lines.

Plant worker John Scott spoke for many of his colleagues when he said: "It's a reward for all the hard work we have put in over the years. Hopefully the new model will sell as we are looking for long term job security."

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan's Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, was delighted by the news. "It's something the North-East should be proud of. We have gone from the smallest plant in the UK to the biggest in just 25 years," he said.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of the Bristol Street Motors parent group, Vertu Motors plc, which owns several Nissan dealerships, said his company would be "thrilled to fly the flag for this new car" when it arrived in showrooms.

PANEL: Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn has fuelled speculation that the Japanese car maker would revive its Datsun brand to make low-cost cars for emerging markets. In response to reports that the name would be revived in 2014 Mr Ghosn said: "We are not ready to announce anything for the moment."

Datsun debuted in Japan in 1932 but was replaced globally by the Nissan marque in the early 1980s.