While Honda and Mazda are just getting their respective footholds in Mexico (the two automakers are opening up respective assembly plants in Mexico), Nissan has had a long presence south of the border, building cars at its Augascalientes, Mexico plant for decades.
Nissan is set to build an all-new plant in Augascalientes, with a total investment of $2 billion. The plant will produce B-segment cars (such as the Versa). Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is on a major push to avoid exporting Japanese-built vehicles due to a strong yen. The Mexican plant will help shore up North American vehicle production, as Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant will add a range of new vehicles shortly, including the Infiniti JX, the Nissan Rogue and the Nissan Leaf. Greater expansion of the new plant, as well as facilities for suppliers were also in the cards.
With the goal of becoming Latin America’s top Japanese OEM, as well as outselling Honda in the United States, the new plant is crucial to Nissan’s plans. Nissan is hoping to have the factory producing cars in less than 24 months.