Britain's auto industry was boosted this week with the news that Nissan was investing £100m into its Sunderland plant to build the next generation of its Juke crossover car.
The decision safeguards a total of 34,000 jobs at the plant and in the supply chain, many of which are in the north east.
Paul Willcox, the Japanese car maker's European chairman, said: "The Juke's unique design is one of the reasons Nissan is now the undisputed crossover leader, underpinning five consecutive years of sales growth in Europe.
"This announcement gives security to our Sunderland plant beyond 2020, which the team has earned through many years of hard work and their ability to continually raise the bar on quality."
The Sunderland plant, the biggest in the UK, is already recognised as one of the most efficient in Europe, producing more than 8 million cars since it opened in 1986.
It already builds the existing version of the Juke, which was launched in 2010, as well as the Qashqai, Note and electrically-powered Leaf. Later this year it is due to start production of Nissan's luxury Infiniti Q30 model.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of auto industry trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: "This is great news for the North East, and yet another vote of confidence in the UK automotive industry. With productivity improving year-on-year and car manufacturing volumes heading towards all-time records, this is a very exciting time for the sector."