Nissan has announced plans to build a new car to rival the Ford Focus. The new model will be produced at its Sunderland plant, creating 1125 UK jobs.

The new, and as yet, unnamed model and a B-segment car - rumoured to a replacement for the Nissan Note - based on the Invitation concept shown at this year’s Geneva motor show will be built along side the Qashqai, Qashqai+2, Leaf and Juke. Combined, the two new models will generate more than 3000 UK jobs at Nissan and its supply base within the next two years.

Nissan is investing £127millon in its Sunderland plant - supported by a £8.2 million government grant - and plans to manufacture a 550,000 cars per year. The addition of the new car will see both production lines working around the clock for the first time in the plants 26-year history.

Speaking from Yokohama this morning, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building their new hatchback model in the UK. It's proof of the strength and vitality of the British manufacturing industry that leading companies like Nissan are expanding their production in the UK.”

Details including the name, pricing, engine line-up and equipment levels will be released closer to the car’s sales launch in 2014. The new hatchback marks Nissan’s return to the mainstream C-segment in Europe after the Almera ended production in 2006.

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