The unit’s president said Nissan’s luxury unit Infiniti would build a factory in the U.S. or Mexico to diversify production outside of Japan.
Johan de Nysschen said in Detroit the plant will be Infiniti’s second production site in North America, and the company will decide on the new facility this quarter.
The automaker, which shifted its global headquarters to Hong Kong in 2012, is also building a new facility in the U.K. to produce the compact Q30, de Nysschen said. The U.K. plant, to be completed by next year, will be the worldwide hub for that model, which will be available with gasoline and diesel engines.
Infiniti cars are now built in Japan and the U.S., where a Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, makes one model – the QX60 crossover. Nissan is based in Yokohama, Japan. U.S. sales of the brand, which renamed its models last year as the Infiniti lineup is revamped, fell 2.9 % to 116,455 in 2013.
Separately, the automaker will begin building two models at parent Nissan Motor’s Xiangyang plant in central China. Infiniti’s sales jumped 54 % last year to 17,108 in China. The country will probably become Infiniti’s biggest market by sales volume by the end of this decade, de Nysschen said last week. The automaker plans to begin local production of two long-wheelbase models, the Q50 sedan and QX50 crossover, in China this year.