Nissan has confirmed it will launch a new compact SUV model in 2010 that will be manufactured at its Sunderland plant in the UK alongside the current Qashqai crossover. The decision was announced following a visit today by the British Prime Minister to the site and the promise of a £6.2 million ($12.5 million) grant from the government to keep production at the UK site.

Nissan will shift production of the Micra minicar to a plant in India to free up capacity for the new vehicle. The next-generation Micra, also due in 2010, will be built on a new architecture dubbed the A-platform and will also spawn a unique version for Renault. The new A-platform will be used for at least three other models and will be built in five different countries.

The new compact SUV will be a premium model aimed at Western markets and is expected to adopt styling cues from the current Qashqai. It will likely be available in both three and five-door variants and will include a range of compact diesel and petrol engines.