According to Nissan’s chief executive officer, Carlos Ghosn, the second largest Japanese automaker will be unable to continue with the current growth pace unless it adds more production capacity in North America.
Ghosn spoke with media representative son the sidelines of the annual New York Auto Show, hinting that in the long run “we obviously need more capacity in North America,” even as surging demand for the brand’s Rogue sport utility vehicles will be met on the short run from current production capacities in factories in South Korea and Japan. He added that Nissan’s short term goal is to lift its US market share to a “sustainable 10 percent” by 2017 – the company, together with luxury arm Infiniti, had at the end of last month a United States market share of 9.3 percent, with the executive pointing out they have every intention to keep up with the expansion. The Nissan boss refrained from providing additional details, such as a timetable for the promised North American capacity increase or whether that boost would come courtesy of new assembly facilities or simply by upgrading existing plants to produce more vehicles.
Nissan is not the only manufacturer seeking to expand in North America – with numerous automakers laying out plans to boost capacity or expand for the first time in Mexico, the United States or Canada. Volvo Cars, the premium Swedish carmaker parented by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings announced last week it would invest half a billion dollars for a new US plant, while South Korea’s Hyundai is mulling an expansion of its current production capacity in North America and British automaker Jaguar Land Rover has been rumored to consider setting up a plant in the US.