DETROIT -- Nissan Motor Co. intends nearly to double its capacity to produce vehicles in the Americas region as it drives for more market share in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America.
Nissan will announce a new assembly plant in Mexico in the coming weeks that is intended to capitalize on two years of double-digit U.S. sales growth, Bill Krueger, vice chairman for Nissan Americas, told the Automotive News World Congress.
"To fuel our growing demand, we know we're going to need more capacity," Krueger said.
"Nissan holds 8.2 percent of the U.S. market, up from 6 percent just a few years ago," he said. The rise came "during a period of intense competition, a challenging economic environment and more crises than we care to remember."
Nissan and Infiniti's combined U.S. sales rose 15 percent in 2011, despite being hampered by last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, vs. a 10 percent gain for the overall market. "We've done this with a solid -- but aging -- product portfolio that is about to get completely refreshed," he added.
Krueger, 46, who is responsible for manufacturing across the Americas region, said his two Mexico auto plants are out of space. He said the soon-to-be-revealed Mexican factory will take Nissan from production of 1.2 million vehicles in this hemisphere in 2011 to 2 million a year.