“Local” may be a favored term for foodies, but it’s already the new buzzword for Japanese automakers looking to find a hedge against a strong yen.
Nissan is going to be at the forefront of the movement to bring a significant portion of vehicle production stateside. Says the Detroit Free Press:
By 2015, 85% of the Nissan and Infiniti models sold in the U.S. will be produced in North America, up from about 67%, said Carla Bailo, senior vice president of research and development for Nissan Americas.
The localized focus is extending beyond Nissan; the next-generation Honda Civic will be designed by the company’s North American arm, while Honda and Mazda are setting up factories in Mexico. The combined effect of the disaster in 2011 and the rising yen is leading to a revitalized auto industry in America. It’s just happening without the ordinary players in the usual locales.