Speculation has been percolating for weeks about another big North American factory expansion by Nissan. The last word on the street was that Nissan is laying plans for a new assembly plant in Mexico.
It would be the automaker's third there, where Nissan is the market leader and vehicle supply is tight. And with U.S. sales growing and production of new models coming to its factories in Tennessee and Mississippi, Nissan's U.S. assembly plants are getting close to their production capacity.
Automakers like to keep big investment deals under wraps until the last minute. But the Nissan rumors sound too plausible to dismiss. Nissan Americas' straight-talking chairman, Colin Dodge, gave it a good try anyway last week while talking to Automotive News at the Tokyo Motor Show. "It's all speculation," Dodge said.
"There's a lot of talk," he acknowledged. "And I think we'll be ready to speak about it in January. I can't remember when we can speak about Mexico," he reflected, turning for support to a nearby press aide who dutifully interjected that no decisions have been reached. "I know," the chairman assured him. "But it's going to be in the next two or three months for sure."