Nissan is to commit to manufacturing future electric versions of its two best-selling cars in Sunderland.

The Japanese carmaker will announce today (November 24) that its new electric Qashqai and Juke models will be made at the site, according to widespread reports.

The company’s investment is in the region of £1 billion and will be supported by a contribution from the Government, the reports stated.

In his autumn statement on Wednesday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said £4.5 billion would be made available to support strategic manufacturing sectors such as the car industry.

Nissan’s commitment to its Sunderland plant is expected to help preserve 6,000 jobs at the factory.

There are fears many electric cars exported between the UK and the EU will be hit with 10% tariffs due to post-Brexit trade rules due to be implemented from January 1.

This is because most manufacturers will struggle to meet the requirement to source at least 45% of their components by value in the UK or EU, due to the lack of battery production.

But Nissan is the only carmaker in the UK with a dedicated battery plant nearby.

The Qashqai is the UK’s second most popular new car so far this year, with the Juke at number seven on the list.

In September, BMW announced a £600 million investment to prepare its Mini factory in Oxford to build new electric cars after securing Government funding.

The German manufacturer said it will transform the plant to enable production of two new electric Mini models to begin in 2026.

A spokesman for Nissan said: “We do not comment on rumours and speculation.”

Figures circulated within the motor industry have suggested building the two electric models on Wearside would be worth £4 billion to the North East economy by 2027 and create up to 12,000 jobs in the local supply chain.

An industry source said: “The UK government was pivotal in bringing Nissan to the UK in the 1980s.

“It has probably been the most successful foreign direct investment into the UK given the scale and growth of Nissan.”

The investment was crucial for an area that is heavily reliant on the automotive industry.

Paul Swinney, director of Policy and Research at the think tank Centre for Cities, said: “Nissan’s re-commitment to building in Sunderland is a great boost for the city.

“It employs many thousands of people, and it supports the cafes, bars and restaurants through the money that it puts in people’s pockets.


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“That said, the city is currently very much more reliant on the automotive sector than most other cities are on their key industries.

“Sunderland needs more than one engine of growth if, should Nissan ever decide to leave, its departure doesn’t have the same impact that the closure of the mines and shipyards had.

“This is why the ongoing changes in the city centre, and the proposed Crown Works film studios by the River Wear are so important to bring not just more jobs, but more higher-paid jobs to the city.”