TOKYO -- Nissan (IW 1000/26) said Wednesday it would start building a compact model of the luxury Infiniti brand at its huge plant in Sunderland in the north of England from 2015.

Production of the new vehicle would create another 1,000 jobs across the country, including 280 additional positions at the Sunderland plant, with a capacity to make about 60,000 Infiniti models annually.

The Japanese automaker said the investment was worth about 250 million pounds (US$407 million), and replaces production of a previously announced new midsize hatchback model, which will be "manufactured elsewhere," it said.

The new production site "will be decided and announced at a later date," Nissan said.

"This milestone, our first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland, reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant,"  said Colin Dodge, Nissan's executive vice-president and chief performance officer.

There are more than 6,000 employees at Sunderland, which will set an annual production record above 500,000 vehicles this year, Nissan said.

"This investment is excellent news for the north east and another vote of confidence for UK manufacturing," Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said in the Nissan statement.

"The continued success of Nissan in the UK demonstrates the strength of the car industry here, and its importance, as we rebalance and grow the economy."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012