- Nissan's third vehicle plant in Mexico will have capacity to produce 175,000 units annually with multiple platform flexibility, addressing growing demand in the Americas.
- Operations brought online in a record 19 months, raising Nissan's capacity in Mexico to more than 850,000 units annually.
- New investment will generate more than 3,000 new jobs in Aguascalientes and over 9,000 indirect jobs.
AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico – Nissan today celebrated an important milestone in its "Power 88" growth strategy with the opening of the first phase of a US$2-billion manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The new plant is Nissan's third in Mexico and will raise the company's output in the country to more than 850,000 vehicles annually from 680,000 today, an increase of 25 percent.
During the opening ceremony, Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, highlighted Nissan Mexicana's position as a global benchmark for the corporation. "Nissan Mexicana is a global benchmark in manufacturing, productivity, competitiveness and customer satisfaction," Ghosn said. "The investment in our third vehicle plant in Mexico leverages the world-class manufacturing capabilities of the Nissan Mexicana team and is aimed at satisfying the high demand for Nissan vehicles produced in Mexico throughout the Americas and beyond. It will help consolidate our leadership in the domestic market and strengthen our growth plans globally."
In 1966, Mexico became the first country to manufacture Nissan cars outside of Japan. Today, Nissan's third vehicle plant in the country establishes another "first" by being the first plant to start operations just shy of 19 months after land leveling, an all-time industry record. From day one, the plant, which is located only four miles away from Nissan Aguascalientes 1, will ramp-up to full capacity running 23 hours a day, six days a week, for 284 days a year.
Initially, Aguascalientes 2 will produce 30 vehicles per hour, adding to the 65 vehicles output per hour of Aguascalientes 1. This increased output level will help Nissan maintain its position as the top vehicle producer in the country. Currently, Nissan produces approximately 1 out of every 4 cars made in Mexico.
CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed the key role that Nissan Mexicana plays within the company's global strategic business plan, Nissan Power 88. The goal is to achieve 8 percent market share and 8 percent operating profit by 2016, in part, through strategic investments such as Aguascalientes 2, a new plant in Resende, Brazil scheduled for opening in 2014 and the recent integration of Nissan LEAF and Nissan Rogue to the Smyrna manufacturing plant in USA.
"We are extremely proud of this vote of confidence from Nissan Motor Co. to Mexican manufacturing performance," said Armando Ávila, manufacturing vice president of Nissan Mexicana. "Cuernavaca was our first vehicle plant outside Japan; thirty years later we extended our manufacturing footprint to Aguascalientes. Today, we open a second vehicle plant in this state and welcome 3,000 new employees who already work at the new plant. Through months of training, they have become a part of our family and now share our culture and passion for quality. This is only the beginning of another chapter in Nissan Mexicana´s history and where we become even greater contributors to the global automotive industry."
Groundwork for Aguascalientes 2 began in April 2012 and was constructed by a team of 2,500 people in an unprecedented 19-month period. More than 7,000 tons of steel were required to build the plant, a number comparable to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Aguascalientes 2 is comprised of five main buildings totaling 1,942,491 square meters of construction on a 1130 acre (460 hectare) lot: Stamping, Body, Paint, T&C (Assembly Line) and Injection & Bumpers Paint in a 220,000 square meter production center. These operations include advanced and environmental technologies in line with Nissan's vision of innovation and goals of minimizing environmental impact to air, soil and water resources. To date, more than US$23 million have been invested in environmental technologies alone.
The XL Press at Stamping Plant is the largest in Latin America. It boasts a state-of-the-art; high-speed press with a capacity of 575 strokes per hour and can produce more than 273,000 parts per month. The plant will include an energy regeneration system to reduce consumption.
The Body Shop has 190 robots and is 72 percent automated. The Paint Plant has a Compact Line Process Design, with a 3-Wet paint cabin using water-based technology. This is Nissan´s new global standard in paint technology which dramatically reduces emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and greenhouse gases.
Environmentally minded design influenced the development of the Aguascalientes 2 plant as a whole. Seven percent of ceiling parts are translucent, allowing for natural light to flood operations throughout most of the day. A zero-discharge, water treatment recycles water used for internal and landscaping services. Moreover, a portion of the land was prepared as an environmental reserve, including fertile soil moved during the development process and native plant species. The reserve is being designed for the leisure use of employees and the community.
With this investment, Nissan generates more than 3,000 new jobs in Aguascalientes and over 9,000 indirect jobs. New employees have between four and 10 months of training, depending on the position, to ensure quality levels upon launch. Nissan´s manufacturing team developed a detailed training method including a "Dynamic Training Simulator" for people to achieve optimal cycles in quality, efficiency and ergonomics prior to the start of production.
Carlos Lozano de la Torre, Governor of the state of Aguascalientes, stated that the Aguascalientes 2 plant is the result of a partnership established by a visionary company and a government working hand in hand under the goal of benefiting the community, the state and Mexico as a whole. Involved as Economy Minister when the first Nissan plant was built in Aguascalientes three decades ago, Lozano expressed pride in this new chapter in the history of Nissan.
"The gratitude that we can express to Nissan will transcend in time," said de la Torre. "The trust deposited in the talent of the people of Aguascalientes, since 1982 when it first tied its destiny to our people, renews itself permanently through the ongoing generation of jobs and positive economic impact. This new project represents our strength as partners, where we are contributing to the prosperity of our people and that of generations to come."
One of the main features of Aguascalientes 2 is the flexibility to build vehicles from different platforms, in order to adapt to the changing customer demands. The first vehicle to be produced in Aguascalientes 2 will be the 2014 Nissan Sentra, exported to more than 20 markets.
"What we see today is only the first phase of the Aguascalientes 2 complex," said José Luis Valls, president and managing director of Nissan Mexicana. "Our goal is to reach the 1-million cars milestone in the midterm. There is great potential for the car industry in Mexico, not only for its domestic market, but as a global production hub. The flexible manufacturing lines at Aguascalientes 2 will allow us to react quickly to market trends and be closer to what our customers need and want. We're proud that Mexico is currently the fourth largest car exporter and the eighth global producer, but we're definitely aiming for more."
Logistics operations among Aguascalientes 2 and Aguascalientes 1 plant are fully integrated. Aguascalientes 2 includes a rail yard for vehicle transportation that will support both operations and combined capacity of servicing is 95 jobs per hour.
Adjacent to Aguascalientes 2, Nissan and Vesta are developing "Douki Seisan Park (DSP)" an integrated supplier park within Aguascalientes 2's footprint. The DSP's close proximity allows an intrinsic link between automotive suppliers and the production processes. During its initial stage, and with an investment of US$57 million, the DSP will host on 140 acres (57 hectares) suppliers within five buildings of 1.6 million square feet of construction, with the potential of expanding further in the future. Already in positions are: POSCO, Tachi-S and Sanoh. Also nearby is Nissan's transmission supplier company, JATCO, with a second plant in Aguascalientes developed at an investment of USD$220 million in 2013.
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