Its sales may lag well behind industry giant Toyota, but Nissan North America is now out-producing the transplant operations run by its rival.
In fact, Nissan’s four assembly lines in the U.S. and Mexico turned out more cars, trucks and crossovers than any other transplant network during the first half of 2011 – and will likely need to undergo a major expansion in the near future, company officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com.
Through the end of June, Nissan produced 565,730 vehicles at those four North American plants. Significantly, that was a 9.1% increase over year-earlier levels despite the interruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that tattered much of the automotive supplier network based in Northeast Japan.
Toyota saw production fall 28% during the first half, to 555,972 vehicles, while third-ranked Honda’s North American production network reported a 20.8% drop, to 516,603 cars, trucks and crossovers.
“They did a lot better job” at Nissan overcoming the parts shortages that were created by the March disaster, says Aaron Bragman, automotive analyst with the consulting firm IHS.