Nissan has announced its Sunderland factory will produce the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail models, despite earlier fears of trade issues following the Brexit vote.

According to the Japanese car maker, its decision to build future models in the UK comes after the Government said it will ensure the plant remains competitive.

In the run-up to the vote, Carlos Ghosn, warned workers about an uncertain future if the country decided to leave the EU. Two-thirds of voters in Sunderland opted to leave the EU.

Nissan is the largest employer in the area, and last month Ghosn said the company may not invest in the plant unless the Government could guarantee compensation for any additional trade fees resulting from Brexit.

The news comes after Ghosn held a meeting with prime minster Theresa May earlier this month and secured more than 7,000 workers’ jobs at the factory, which has produced nearly nine million vehicles since the plant first opened in 1986.

“I am pleased to announce that Nissan will continue to invest in Sunderland. Our employees there continue to make the plant a globally competitive powerhouse, producing high-quality, high-value products every day,” said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Nissan. “The support and assurances of the UK Government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland. I welcome British prime minister Theresa May’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain and to the development of an overall industrial strategy.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, welcomed the announcement:  “Today’s announcement is good news for UK automotive and jobs, confirming Britain as a leader in automotive production. To secure this position, however, we need the Government to provide public assurance to investors that our advantages will be maintained – namely, a competitive business environment, the ability to recruit talent from abroad and the continuation of all the benefits of the single market as we leave the EU.”

Writing on Twitter, chancellor Philip Hammond said Nissan’s decision “is a vote of confidence in the UK”.