Nissan Opens Its Largest Plant
Quick: Where is the largest plant in the Renault/Nissan empire? France? Japan? Tennessee? Nope. It’s in China. At least since today it is.
Today, Nissan’s joint venture with China’s Dongfeng officially opened phase II of its plant in Huadu, near Guangzhou, the former Canton. Across the street from the current plant, a new factory was erected that adds capacity of 200,000 units to the current 400,000 unit per year facilities.
“The combined facilities will create the largest plant in the Nissan global production network with annual capacity of 600,000 units in 2012,” said Nissan’s Executive VP Hiroto Saikawa, who had served as CEO of Nissan U.S. before.
Eventually, the capacity of the new plant will be brought up to 270,000 units, bringing the total to 670,000 units. The second plant will build Tiida Hatchback, currently produced at the first Huadu plant.
With sales to exceed 1.15 million in 2011 Nissan has quietly advanced to the largest Japanese maker in China. In 2012, Nissan expects to sell 1.35 million vehicles in China. Contrary to conventional wisdom that Chinese have issues with Japanese things, Japanese brands hold the largest combined market share in China.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has big plans for emerging markets, and this is part of the plan.
The largest plant is also Nissan’s best. In July, Carlos Ghosn had remarked that the Dongfeng plants are the best in the 34 plant strong production system of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Simon Sproule, Corporate VP and head of worldwide marketing communications, told TTAC today that the new plant uses the same production and QA methods, and is expected to excel.
Maybe they will find the money in the $786 million budget to put the f back into Dongfeng. Then, the factory gate to the old factory also will look like new.
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- RHD The price will also be a huge factor. Most websites expect it to start at around 50K. Add in the dealer fees, taxes, markup, options and assorted nonsense, it'll probably easily pass 60 grand. A Chrysler Pacifica starts around 38K. The real test will be if anyone with nostalgia for the old VW Van/Kombi/Station Wagon/Bus/Etc. will be motivated to actually buy one. Once the new and unique wears off, its innate excellence (or lack thereof) will determine its long-term success.
- Carlson Fan I think it is pretty cool & grew up with a '75 Ford window van so I can attest to their utility. $60K is a lot for any vehicle and I'm not convinced EV's are ready for prime time for a number of reasons. It would make an awesome 2nd or 3rd vehicle in a multi-car household but again the price would keep most from considering it.I agree with the other comments that those who have to have it will buy it and then sales will drop off. Offer a panel version for the commercial market, that could have possibilities.
- Wjtinfwb Panther Black? or Black Panther? Shaped like a decade old Ford detectives sedan? Seems like an odd way to send out your marquee car...
- Kwik_Shift Instead of blacked, how about chromed? Don't follow the herd.
- Carlson Fan Nicest looking dash/gage cluster ever put in any PU truck. After all these years it still looks so good.
Another example of the rise of the far East (China) at the expense of the West.
I'm wondering how much the growth will continue in light of the recent rumblings that China might be on the edge of a housing crash. With MB, BMW, Audi, and others giving substantial discounts to vehicles, it should be interesting to see how this works out. I think overall Nissan is planning to export from here like Honda, but still, the timing doesn't appear to be great.