As the automotive industry focuses on the electric future, Gupta has said that the trade deal signed before Christmas between the UK and EU will enable Nissan to buy more high-powered batteries locally, instead of importing them from Japan.

This will ensure the vehicles comply with trade rules agreed with the EU requiring at least 55% of the car's value to be derived from either the UK or the EU by 2027 to qualify for zero tariffs when exported to the EU. Around 70% of the cars made at the Sunderland plant are exported, mainly to the European Union.

"The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan," Gupta told the BBC. "Being the largest automaker in the UK, we are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK. It has created a competitive environment for Sunderland, not just inside the UK but outside as well.

"We've decided to localise the manufacture of the 62kWh battery in Sunderland so that all our products qualify [for tariff-free export to the EU]. We are committed to Sunderland for the long term under the business conditions that have been agreed."

Unsurprisingly, the government has been quick to welcome the news, with new Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying: "Nissan's decision represents a genuine belief in Britain and a huge vote of confidence in our economy thanks to the certainty our trade deal with the EU delivers. For the dedicated and highly-skilled workforce in Sunderland, it means the city will be home to Nissan's latest models for years to come and positions the company to capitalise on the wealth of benefits that will flow from electric vehicle production."