Nissan has started production of the next-generation B-segment Note at its Sunderland plant.
The Note is set to boost production at Sunderland following a £125m investment by Nissan, secured for the UK with a £9.3m grant from the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund.
Nissan dealers across Europe have taken more than 14,000 pre-orders since the order books opened in July.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "The investment by Nissan to make the Note at the world class Sunderland plant has been achieved by Government and industry working together. It provides a very welcome boost to their exceptional workforce, the North East economy and the country.
“Working in partnership with industry, our automotive industrial strategy sets out how we will secure the long term future of the sector as a UK success story by growing our share of the value chain and by getting ahead of the game in research and development on the vehicles of tomorrow.”