Nissan is looking to set up a third plant, possibly for electric vehicles, in North America

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., which recently launched its plans to add electric vehicle production at a second US assembly plant, is considering building a third “factory”, possibly for electric vehicles, in the region by 2030.

Operating Director Ashwani Gupta said the Japanese automaker will likely need a new “plant” by the end of the decade under its ambitious 2030 long-term plan.

Gupta did not specify that the new facility would be geared exclusively toward electric vehicles, but the context of his discussion revolved around electric vehicles.

“The way we’re moving forward, I think we’re going to need a new plant,” Gupta said Friday at Nissan’s global headquarters here.

He said that this step is in line with the trend towards localization, as Nissan makes electrification a focal point for future growth.

Last November, Nissan said it would invest 2 trillion yen ($16.4 billion) in the next five years to boost the electric car’s push with 23 new entries worldwide by the end of the decade while the company derives 40 percent of US sales from electric. pure. .

high demand

Gupta said demand, especially for electrified vehicles, is expected to rise once the industry clears supply chain challenges that have affected production for most of the past year.

“The question is how and when it becomes electric,” Gupta said. “But one day it will happen. I think it might not be a surprise if we announce a new plant in the United States.”

Under the mid-term recovery plan, which runs through March 31, 2024, Nissan has reduced its global production footprint to reduce fixed costs and improve efficiency. Now that it has recovered from two years of losses, Gupta said it was time to start cultivating investing for future growth.

Currently, Nissan has only two assembly plants in the United States – one in Smyrna, Tenn, and the other in Canton, Mississippi.

Nissan launched production of electric cars in the United States with its Leaf hatchback at its plant in Smyrna, which has been building the car and its batteries since 2013.

Electric vehicle production will be added to Canton from 2025.

Nissan said earlier this year it would invest $500 million to turn the Canton plant into a “hub for electric vehicle manufacturing and technology.” Under the overhaul, Canton will produce two new electric vehicles, one for the Nissan brand and one for Infiniti.

battery factory

Last month, battery maker Envision AESC, which is partly owned by Nissan, revealed plans to invest $2 billion to build a battery plant in Kentucky.

This plant, which will open in 2025, will have the capacity to supply 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027. The plant will initially supply Mercedes-Benz’s newly launched electric vehicle production line in Vance, Ala.

But the new battery factory will also send its goods to other electric car makers. It can contain a lot of products to supply the new electric car offerings from Nissan or Infiniti.

Gupta said more translation is needed for several reasons. It enables production to respond more quickly to domestic demand. It serves as a hedge against market uncertainty and exchange rate volatility. Local production also helps to obtain various incentives.

Gupta said a new plant will come after Nissan completes its transition from a highly discounted company to a quality and value brand. This transformation is already underway and has helped Nissan return to profitability in the fiscal year ending March 31.

Gupta said the new manufacturing firepower could come in the form of an entirely new plant or the expansion of an existing facility.

He did not go into other details such as the potential location, timetable or types of models. But he said the electrification of the luxury Infiniti brand would be an important driver in the need to expand domestic production in the region.

“A third new plant or an expansion of an existing plant,” Gupta said. “The importance of localization may increase year by year.”

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