Nissan, the second largest Japanese automaker has come off strong US sales and market share gains in 2014 and now has to weigh its options in order to cope with demand: increase existing production capacity in North America or build new plant space.
According to Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz the Japanese carmaker – which has an alliance with France’s Renault and together make up the world’s fourth largest automaker – is now mulling new investment opportunities in the region to satisfy the strong demand. “As we close in on Nissan’s goal of 10 percent of the U.S. automotive market, we are carefully considering our next waves of investment, ” commented Munoz during an industry audience held at the Chicago Auto Show. The executive pointed out that over the years each investment wave yielded the expected sales growth. Nissan ended last year with record US deliveries of almost 1.4 million units for the core Nissan and luxury Infiniti brands – tallying 8.4 percent share of the market.
Now the automaker has proposed a target of 10 percent of all US sales to be achieved by the end of March 2017. The only trouble is that its four assembly facilities in the region – two in the US and two in Mexico – are already using three work shifts a day to cope with demand. In 2014, it upgraded an assembly line in Canton, Miss., to cater for the production of the Murano crossover. Additionally, it has also started the construction of a new factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in a partnership to build new luxury vehicles for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz.
Via Automotive News