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Nissan now Nº 2 Asian brand in the Americas; new $2B manufacturing complex in Mexico to grow B platform capacity

Nissan Americas manufacturing plants. Click to enlarge.

Nissan Americas reported record sales of 1,561,230 in 2011 calendar year for Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles throughout the region encompassing North, Central and South America—a record year in both market share and volume for Japan’s second largest manufacturer. The Nissan brand alone gained 0.6 points of market share over the 2010 calendar year and advanced to become the Nº 2 Asian automotive brand in the Americas.

Nissan also announced it will invest up to US$2.0 billion for an all-new manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico, to support the company’s Americas growth strategy. The facility, which will complement Nissan’s two existing Mexican factories, is scheduled to begin operations in late 2013. During the initial phase of its development, the new complex will support production of up to 175,000 units annually of Nissan’s ‘B’ platform products.

Further expansion of the site will be considered in phases as product and capacity needs are formalized.

2011 sales in the Americas. The company’s sales and share growth was consistent across each of the geographic regions throughout the Americas, with the US, Mexico and Brazil posting the largest single-country gains. In total, sales of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in the Americas increased more than 229,000 units last year, or 17.2%, over 2010 for a combined share of 7.5%, a record for the company’s single largest region worldwide.

Nissan Americas Sales & Share: CY11 vs. CY10
  CY11 Sales CY11 Share CY10 Sales CY10 Share
Nissan US 1,042,534 8.2% 908,570 7.8%
Nissan Canada 84,667 5.3% 83,013 5.3%
Nissan Mexico 224,740 24.8% 189,518 23.1%
Nissan Brazil 67,268 2.0% 35,574 1.1%
Nissan Latin America 128,198 10.0% 105,220 9.6%
Nissan Argentina 13,823 1.7% 10,045 1.6%
Nissan Americas Totals 1,561,233 7.5% 1,331,940 7.0%

Toyota maintains the lead position of the Asian brands in the Americas, with 1.85 million units sold in 2011. Honda is in third place with 1.29 million units, followed by Hyundai with 1.03 million units and Kia with 659,000.

In the U.S., Nissan gained market share for the sixth consecutive year, ending 2011 with 8.2% of the U.S. market, up from 6% a few years ago. In Mexico, Nissan has been the market leader for three consecutive years and ended 2011 with a record market share of 24.8%, up 1.7 points from the prior year.

In Brazil, Nissan’s business has been rapidly expanding with sales that nearly doubled in 2011. Nissan was Brazil’s fastest-growing automotive brand in 2011 and is now the 7th best-selling car brand in the country. In Latin America, Nissan finished 2011 with 10% market share for the first time, up 0.4 points from the prior year.

Investment in Aguascalientes. The new complex in Aguascalientes will allow Nissan’s existing and future operations to share critical resources. An all-new supplier park also will be built on the site.

Mexico is a key engine for Nissan’s growth in the Americas. Together with our new plant in Brazil, this new manufacturing facility in Aguascalientes is an important pillar in our strategy to ensure that Nissan has the capacity it needs to increase sales volume and market share across the Americas.

—Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO, Nissan Motor Co, Ltd.

While other Mexican locations were considered, the State of Aguascalientes was chosen for its proximity to Nissan’s existing manufacturing plant in the same state, which offers direct access to skilled labor and suppliers.

The addition of an incremental production site in Aguascalientes will prepare Nissan to produce more than one million units annually in Mexico in the midterm. Today, Nissan operates two manufacturing facilities in Mexico—one 85 km south of Mexico City in Cuernavaca that produces small cars and light commercial and pickup truck models, and a second in Aguascalientes that produces small cars for the domestic, US and Latin American markets. In 2011, Nissan set a domestic production record with more than 600,000 vehicles manufactured at its Mexican plants.

The first phase of development for the new Aguascalientes site will include installation of body, trim and chassis and paint manufacturing capability as well as associated parts warehousing and logistics operations. An on-site test track also will be constructed to allow for off-line quality assurance testing of all new-model production.

Nissan’s expansion in Mexico follows the company’s recent announcement that it will build an all-new manufacturing facility in Resende in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. That factory will begin production in the first half of 2014 and, together with the newly installed capacity in Mexico, will provide Nissan with the capacity to fuel its growth throughout the Americas region.



Here is one foreign (Japan-France) firm bringing factories back to the Americas while American factories are moving out without a single comment. Is there a message here?

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