Nissan announces ambitious plans to expand presence in Brazil

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In a move aimed at boosting its foothold in Latin America’s largest economy, Nissan recently unveiled a substantial increase in its investment in its Brazilian factory. The Japanese automaker now plans to invest a staggering 2.8 billion reais (approximately $575 million) into its operations in Brazil, a significant increase from the initial 1.3 billion reais announced in April 2022.

The announcement came as Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s CEO, paid a visit to Brasilia to present the revised investment plan to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. With a clear vision of expanding its market share and product offerings in the region, Nissan is gearing up for a new phase of growth in Brazil.

Nissan has been a presence in Brazil for 23 years, and the company is enthusiastic about the potential for growth in the country’s automotive market. Their primary objective is to double their current market share from 3.4% to 7% by 2026. To achieve this goal, Nissan is set to embark on a significant expansion and product diversification journey.

The cornerstone of Nissan’s ambitious strategy in Brazil revolves around its factory in the city of Resende, Rio de Janeiro. The company plans to introduce a renewed version of their popular Kicks SUV and an entirely new SUV model, along with a state-of-the-art turbo engine. This not only signals Nissan’s commitment to product innovation but also its determination to cater to the evolving needs of Brazilian consumers.

One of the most exciting aspects of this development is the plan to export one of the new SUV models to at least 20 countries in the Latin American region. This could potentially lead to the Resende plant, which currently operates in two shifts, expanding to a third production shift around 2027. The expansion of the Resende complex is expected to attract four new suppliers, which in turn could create indirect job opportunities in the region.

In a nod to the changing landscape of the automotive industry, Nissan’s Brazilian operations will feature its e-Power technology. This technology combines electricity and a combustion engine, making it a valuable addition to their lineup as the market demands more eco-friendly options. Guy Rodriguez, Nissan Latin America President, explained that the technology is adaptable, and Nissan is actively exploring the possibility of it working with different fuel types.

Uchida stressed the strategic importance of Brazil and Latin America to Nissan, underscoring the importance of economic growth in the region for the success of the automotive industry. He spoke about his conversations with President Lula on how to stimulate the local automotive market, as a thriving economy is essential for continued car sales and an improved overall consumer experience.

Nissan’s decision to bolster its presence and investments in Brazil reflects its confidence in the country’s potential and its commitment to delivering innovative, high-quality vehicles to meet the evolving demands of the market. With this substantial financial injection and product expansion, Nissan is poised to be a significant player in the Brazilian automotive landscape, striving to double its market share and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

(Source: Leonardo Lara | Bloomberg | Japan Times)

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