By on September 20, 2010

There used to be a time when Japan exported cars. Now, they export car factories. Nissan has been on the forefront of this movement for a while. Now comes their biggest export deal: Nissan plans to double its capacity in China by 2012, writes Reuters. That would bring their annual capacity in China to 1.2 million units.

Nissan and their joint venture partner  Dongfeng make the best selling Japanese brand in China. With a model mix that has small cars that profit from government tax incentives, Nissan relegated Toyota into second place.

Recent growth had been stunted by capacity problems. A slight slowdown in the market was actually welcome, as it gave Nissan some breathing room. Nissan will build a new plant in Zhengzhou and expand two existing plants in Huadu and Xiangfan.

Their plan is to take 10 percent of the China market, nearly double its current share of about 6 percent, chief executive Carlos Ghosn said. “Among the Japanese carmakers … Nissan holds the number one position,” he said. “Still, we believe we have the potential to earn a higher market share through our partnerships with Dongfeng and Zhengzhou Nissan.”

While saying yes to more capacity, Ghosn said “No” when asked by Reuters if Nissan-Renault was looking to buy shares in General Motors’ upcoming IPO.

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