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Of the major Japanese Automakers, Nissan Motors has been one of the least affected by natural disasters and the strengthening yen, effectively minimizing exposure to regional risks by erecting facilities overseas.
Nissan has announced plans to build another manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico, to expand North American production. An investment worth $2.0 billion USD, the new facility will be joining two other Mexican Nissan factories already in place. When construction is completed, operations are projected to begin late in 2013, with an initial production capacity of 175,000 vehicles annually.
Operations in the new complex include body, trim, and chassis installation, paint manufacturing, associated parts warehousing, as well as an on-site test track for quality assurance tests of new vehicles. All this means that the manufacturing complex will provide up to 3,000 new jobs at the facility, and approximately 9,000 new jobs from supply chain and wider community. All in all, Nissan’s expansion will allow a total of 13,500 jobs provided for Aguascalientes.
Nissan currently makes up six of the ten most popular vehicles sold in Mexico. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said, “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.”
Jose Munoz, president and general director of Nissan Mexico adds, “No other automaker is investing in Mexico more than Nissan. 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.”
As the European and U.S. suffer from an economy of alarming volatility, automakers are constantly seeking emerging markets to attain sustainable growth. Mazda, introducing its automobiles in Mexico only six years ago, have now established a new production facility, in joint venture with Sumitomo Corporation, in Salamanca, Mexico.
According to Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi, “Since Mazda established its sales network in Mexico six years ago, we have experienced a remarkable acceptance from the people of Mexico. Last year Mazda sold over twenty-five thousand vehicles and captured over three percent market share. We are excited to be constructing this new facility here in Mexico with our partner Sumitomo Corporation. It will be vital to bolstering our expansion in Central and South America.”
Expected to be operation by 2014, the plant will possess manufacturing lines for both the engine and vehicle. Although plant will focus production on Mazda2 and Mazda3, don’t be surprised if it will take on the responsibility of producing the Mazda6 for United States as well.
Nissan has confirmed today, that starting in early 2013, the electric motor for the Nissan Leaf will be produced at the Decherd, Tennessee powertrain assembly plant.
Prepping the plant for the electric motor production has been facilitated by U.S Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program loan funds. The Leaf motor will also create 90 new jobs and when the new assembly line is completed, the plant will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 electric motors annually for the Nissan Leaf.
“Nissan’s Tennessee operations are paving the way to a zero-emission future for everyone,” said Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas. “By delivering motors for the first mass-produced electric vehicles manufactured in the United States, our Decherd plant will play a vital role in making zero-emission mobility a reality for American consumers.”
General Motors will be adding two shifts and 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevrolet Malibu and the next-generation Impala alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars.
Additional shifts and a $69 million investment in equipment have been made to support the next-generation Impala. In April 2010, GM announced that to support the Malibu production, a $121 million investment would be made.
“Filling this plant with new work is very satisfying because GM is dedicated to helping rebuild this city,” GM North America President Mark Reuss said at the plant Wednesday. “We are confident in the flexibility of the plant, the excellence of our workers and the great cars assembled here.”
Chevrolet’s new Malibu will be built in Detroit and Fairfax, Kan., as well as in China and Korea and will be sold in over 100 countries and six continents.
Detroit-Hamtramck currently has 1,121 hourly and salaried employees.
According to GM, the automaker has added or saved 9,000 jobs and invested $3.4 billion since mid-2009.
General Motors will invest $2 billion across 17 plants, as the company retools existing plants to build new products and hire more workers. GM confirmed that their Toledo, Ohio plant would receive $250 million in improvements and create 250 new jobs.
CEO Dan Akerson didn’t announced which plants would be infused with new capital, but the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant that builds the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS will almost certainly be one of them. The plant also builds the Chevrolet Volt, making it to be a prime contender for GM’s attention.
GM announced prior investments in other plants, including the Corvette’s factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the latest round of capital is considered separate from these announcements. Some have speculated that GM’s reluctance to announce their plans could also be a means to gain publicity and avoid affecting upcoming negotiations with the UAW.
[Source: The Detroit News]