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Nissan Needs More US Capacity, New Factory Could be in the Works

Slow March sales not like to trigger rebate war, says CEO Ghosn, who expects makers to accelerate use of new safety technology.

by on Apr.02, 2015

Carlos Ghosn said in New York today that strong U.S. sales present Nissan with a capacity problem and the maker may need a new plant.

March brought disappointing car sales for most manufacturers, but the recovery of the U.S. market hasn’t topped out, said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, during a NY Auto Show media roundtable. In fact, the market is strong enough to keep the Nissan brand on track to hitting a targeted 10% market share, Ghosn said.

That goal actually poses a problem for the Japanese maker, making it increasingly difficult to roll out enough vehicles from its network of North American assembly plants.

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“Without a doubt,” said Ghosn, “we are going to need more capacity in North America.” The question is whether that will come from a new assembly plant or by finding ways to boost capacity at existing facilities, such as the core factory in Smyrna, Tennessee. (more…)