Nissan Brazil Invests US$ 150 Million and Introduces New Car

Nissan Xterra Japanese vehicle assembler Nissan has just announced the production of a new model at the plant installed in São José dos Pinhais, in the Greater Curitiba region (capital of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná). It is a passenger car that, according to the company, should cost less than other vehicles in the same category, currently imported from Mexico.

The production of the model integrates the business plan of the company, which forecasts a US$ 150 million investment in Brazil, by 2009.

The final price and launch date for the new car have not been defined yet. It is going to join the other two models that the assembler produces in Paraná: the Xterra sports utility vehicle and the Frontier pickup. According to information supplied by the company, the new model might be the flagship for the brand's expansion in Brazil.

Nissan forecasts to end its activities in 2007 in Brazil with approximately 11,500 units sold, a growth greater than 100%. It is the best result in the history of the assembly company in Brazil, since the beginning of its operations, in 2001.

In the accumulated result from January to November, the company sold 10,077 units, twice the amount sold in the same period last year. In the wholesale market, in November, over 2,000 units were sold.

"Besides the launches, one of the main highlights this year was the progress that we made in several fields that will provide support to the future increase in local production," explains Thomas Besson, president at Nissan Mercosur.

"We have reinforced our engineering and are working hard on the nationalization of parts and components, which will ensure cost reduction and increased speed and productivity in years to come."

In 2008, Nissan expects to expand its presence in the Brazilian market. Presently, the company owns 65 concessionaires in 26 Brazilian states and in the Federal District, which ensures it 75% coverage of the national territory.

The aim is to end 2008 with an 85% coverage rate, investing mainly in cities in the interior of the country. "Next year will be strategic. We should reach the mark of 17,000 units sold by the end of 2008," Besson forecasts.

Nissan inaugurated its production in Brazil in 2002, with the manufacturing of pickup truck Frontier at the CVU (Curitiba Utilitarian Vehicles), in São José dos Pinhais. Afterwards, assembly began for the Xterra sports utility vehicle.

From January to November, the Brazilian plant of the assembly company produced 8,673 vehicles, sold in Brazil and exported to the Mercosur member countries and to Mexico. By the end of the year, exports are expected to total 5,695 units.

Omar Nasser works for the FIEP (Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná).

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