NISSAN is stopping production of a Sunderland-made vehicle, The Northern Echo can reveal.

The company is ending work on its Note hatchback.

Manufacturing is expected to have ceased by the end of the year.

Officials say the change will not affect workers at its 6,800-job Wearside factory.

The move comes as the firm carries out £22m modifications at its North-East plant to make more models of its best-selling Qashqai.

Bosses say the Note will no longer be sold in Europe, revealing they expect a new Micra model, to be produced in France, to cover the Note’s marketplace absence.

The company’s Sunderland plant has made between 41,000 and 77,000 Notes every year since 2006, and in 2013 beat rival overseas factories to start making an updated version of the car, which boasts on-board devices, such as parking aids.

However, a spokesman told The Northern Echo the Japanese firm was reconfiguring its Wearside production lines to maintain strong Qashqai sales, confirming its other marques will be unaffected by the change.

He said Line 2, where Notes are made, is being adapted to take on extra Qashqai work, as well as the next generation Juke hatchback and luxury Infiniti Q30.

The factory’s Line 1, which already makes the Qashqai, will continue to do so, alongside work on the all-electric Leaf.

The spokesman added: “When the new Micra launches later this year it will become a key model, appealing to customers who may have previously considered a Note.

“This will mean Note production will end as we increase Qashqai capacity in our Sunderland plant.

“Following the launch of the new Micra, Note will no longer be sold in Europe but will remain an important model for Nissan in other markets.”

The Qashqai is now the most successful model in the history of Nissan’s Sunderland factory, with more than two million models made in the region.

The plant produces about 1,200 Qashqais every day, with a new car built every 62 seconds.

Advanced models, which will be fitted with an auto-pilot system, are due to come off Line 2 before the end of the year.

Nissan’s Sunderland factory is also responsible for overseeing the business’ bid to dominate the luxury car market, through the Infiniti Q30, which has delivered 300 jobs and is the first Wearside-built vehicle to be exported to the US.

Nissan could make up to 60,000 models a year through its £250m venture on Infiniti, which is the company’s deluxe sister brand, as it targets the premium car sector, where rivals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes hold sway.

The North-East plant will also make the Infiniti QX30.