By on December 21, 2011

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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7 Comments on “Nissan Opens Its Largest Plant...”

  • avatar

    I thought there was a report here in TTAC that Chinese car market’s growth is slowing. Good timing to add lots more production capacity.

  • avatar

    Nissan is also expanding its capacity in Mexico by quite a bit. The Nissan workers in Tennessee and Mississippi might be a bit worried.

    • 0 avatar

      More like the Nissan workers in Japan. Tennessee is getting Leaf production for North America, including a huge battery plant (see the article about this at TTAC). And Nissan is rumored to be pushing forward a redesign (and possible Cummins 4BT engine…FTW!) of the Titan and has been advertising the Frontier at a decent clip. The dollar is relatively weak. These are good times to work at a Nissan plant in the U.S., I’d reckon.

      Slightly Off-Topic: If that Tiida is what the new Versa hatchback will look like, I think there is hope for the Versa name, after all. I’ve been less-than enthused with the new Versa sedan’s look. The Tiida hatch looks much more palatable.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Another example of the rise of the far East (China) at the expense of the West.

  • avatar

    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.

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