Nissan has announced plans to build a new electric crossover and a battery factory in the UK.
The investment totals £1 billion in partnership with battery production company Envision AESC and includes financial support from the Government.
It will see 1,600 jobs created in Sunderland, with an estimated 4,500 jobs created in the supply chain.
It represents a significant investment in the area, where Nissan has been building cars for 35 years. However, concerns about costs after Brexit had put its future at risk.
The move will see three connected initiatives surrounding renewable energy, battery production and electric vehicle building. The latter will be a new crossover vehicle, but it has not been confirmed when production will begin.
Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Nissan and this incredible workforce were determined that Sunderland should lead the pack as we transition to electric vehicles and today they have delivered.
“They have battled for years to convince the Government to support and invest in UK battery manufacturing, and today’s very welcome announcement will bring much-needed job security to the plant and thousands of new skilled jobs to the region.”
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “This fantastic investment by Nissan and Envision AESC represents a solemn commitment to the people of Sunderland, bringing further high-skilled jobs and turbocharging our plans to level up the North East.
“This is a huge step forward in our ambition to put the UK at the front of the global electric vehicle race, and further proof, if any was needed, that the UK remains one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive manufacturing.”