Nissan to build new factory in China, invests $450mln image

Nissan Motor, the Japanese automaker plans to invest 30 billion to 40 billion yen ($371 million to $494 million) to build its fourth Chinese auto factory in Dalian city – China, the Nikkei business daily said on Friday.

The new factory will be Nissan’s 4th in China, will have an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles and will start production in 2014.

According to the same source, Nissan will produce the Murano and X-Trail sport utility vehicles, a category rapidly gaining popularity in China.

The announcement comes shortly after the Japanese automaker said last week it would spend $200m (£125m) to build a new hatchback at its UK plant. The Sunderland workforce will grow to 6225, the highest level in its 26-year history, and both production lines will begin operating around the clock to take manufacturing capacity beyond 550,000 vehicles per year.

The investment at the Sunderland plant will be supported by a GBP8.2m from Britain’s regional growth fund.

Because of the Yen
The currency’s strength has eaten into automakers’ margins and made it more costly to build vehicles at factories in Japan.

Even after some softening against the US dollar, the strong yen remains a “real headwind” for the growth of Japan-based car makers, Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday.

With the “yen (at) 82 from 76 … I don’t call it a retreat; it is still a huge headwind for all the Japanese exporters,” Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Alliance’s chief executive, told a press briefing at the 2012 New York International Auto Show.