Nissan's new small cars
Although details remain scarce, the car will share the same platform as the new Micra, which is set to be introduced at the same time. A third small car will also be built on the same platform.
The announcement was illustrated with a sketch of the new car, which hints that it might take some styling cues from the Qashqai and 350Z sports car.
In a boost for British industry, the new car will be built at the firm's Sunderland plant, which employs 4700 workers and produces around 370,000 cars a year, 80% of which are exported.
The decision was announced during a visit by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Nissan’s European Design Centre in London, where he met Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's president.
Brown said: 'Today's announcement that a brand new car is to be designed and built in the UK is another important boost to our manufacturing industry, and builds upon Nissan's recent commitments to increase investment and jobs at its record-breaking Sunderland plant.'
Ghosn said: 'By delivering on tough commitments, our employees at Sunderland have demonstrated that our plant can be a globally competitive centre for the production of high-value products.'