Nissan\'s Next North America Plant May Be In Mexico
|   Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, recently stated that "Mexico is a key engine for Nissan's growth in the Americas." In Mexico, the Nissan group is the largest on the auto market. For that reason, the Japanese company considers Mexico, alongside the United States, a very suitable location for a new plant in the North American area. If built, the new plant will meet the market requirements of the two countries.

"We will need capacity in North America and yes, there is a high probability that in the future we will be announcing a new plant in Mexico or in the U.
.," Ghosn said for reporters in Mexico City. However, a clear timetable for the execution of this plant was not announced yet.

Nissan plans to put down 2 billion dollars in investments, which will support development of the Aguascalientes site; that would be Nissan's third site in Mexico. This move will also lay the foundations for the facility's expansion in the future. Other Mexican locations were considered at first, but the State of Aguascalientes was selected for its proximity to the company's existing plant in the same state, thus gaining direct access to skilled laborers and suppliers.

According to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association (via Autonews), the Japanese car maker ramped production in Mexico by 16 percent, reaching more than 583,000 manufactured vehicles in the first 10 months of this year.

"No other automaker is investing in Mexico more than Nissan," said Jose Munoz, president and general director for Nissan's Mexican branch. "Nissan's investment in new manufacturing, engineering and technology resources in Aguascalientes validates what thousands of our employees, suppliers and customers already know. Behind our market leadership is an unparalleled commitment to deliver the best vehicles for Mexico and more than 100 international markets."

The Mexican expansion plan follows the company's recent announcement regarding the building of an all-new manufacturing plant in Resende, down in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. That plant will have a production capacity of 200,000 units during the first half of 2014 and alongside with the freshly capacity in Mexico, will allow Nissan to boost its growth in both North and South America.

The bigger plan is to win about 10 percent of the auto sales in the United States. Today, the group holds some 7.9 percent, which is lower than the 8.1 percent held last year. If the Mexican Automobile Industry Association is correct, the company has a 25 percent share in Mexico's auto market.

Nissan scored big with the arrival of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, all-electric vehicle as well as winner of quite a few international awards, of which the sought-after 2011 European Car of the Year and 2011 World Car of the Year can be counted.

But not everything is rosy. "The forecast we have given ourselves for the year will not be reached," said Ghosn. The year's goal was to sell 20,000 Leafs in the United States; October sales totaled 6,791, 16 percent lower than the year before.

"We're trying to convince more cities and states to invest in this infrastructure," he said. "We recognize the fact that the increase of sales is taking more time than we thought at the beginning."
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