(Alliance News) - Nissan Motor Co is to commit to manufacturing future electric versions of its two best-selling cars in Sunderland.

The Japanese carmaker will announce on Friday 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 GBP1 billion and will be supported by a contribution from the government, the reports stated.

In his autumn statement on Wednesday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said GBP4.5 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 AG announced a GBP600 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 spokesperson for Nissan said: "We do not comment on rumours and speculation."

The government was approached for a comment.

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

source: PA

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