Nissan announced it will begin production of the Note subcompact in Mexico and export the vehicles throughout the Americas.
The Note subcompact is a five-door model, the third to be manufactured at the Aguascalientes plant, in Mexico. Although Nissan will continue producing its cars in India, Thailand and China, the Notes manufactured in Mexico will be aimed only for the Americas, according to Maria Eugenia Santiago, a spokeswoman in Mexico City.
In 2012 Mexico auto production and exports reached record levels, with 86% of the cars being sent abroad to the US, Latin America and Canada, and analysts predict that this year output will reach 3 million units for the first time.
“Mexico is on the auto industry’s radar screen, and it’s a critical country for manufacturing,” Guido Vildozo, an auto analyst at researcher IHS, said in a telephone interview from Lexington, Massachusetts. “There’s cheaper labor, there’s logistics, there are free trade agreements.”
In 2012 Nissan manufactured more than 683,000 vehicles in Mexico, an increase of 13% compared with 2011. Nissan is the industry leader in this country, with 25% market share gained after its vehicles accounted for five of the top 10 auto models sold in Mexico in 2012.
“For Nissan Americas, Mexico represents a strategic production site for the region,” Armando Avila, vice president of manufacturing at the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker’s Mexico unit, said in the statement.
The 2014 Note model, which will be unveiled tomorrow at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will begin production in the second quarter.