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Nissan Likely to Expand Production in U.S.

But Mexico quickly becoming maker’s major export hub, says Ghosn.

by on Nov.13, 2013

Nissan CEO Ghosn dedicates the maker's new $2 billion plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Despite spending billions to open new plants in both Brazil and Mexico, Nissan Motor Co. will continue investing in its U.S. automotive manufacturing operations, stressed the maker’s CEO.

But where plants in Tennessee and Mississippi will largely focus on local demand in the United States, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Mexico is rapidly becoming not only its primary export hub in the Americas but likely will soon become a largest export base than Nissan plants back in Japan.

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“If you ask me if you will see future expansion in the United States for the U.S. market, the answer is yes,” said Ghosn during a media roundtable in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he attended the formal dedication of Nissan’s new, $2 billion assembly complex.


Honda Moving US Corp. HQ to Ohio

With promotion, new global Honda COO will be based in Ohio.

by on Feb.22, 2013

Tetsuo Iwamura, shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, becomes the new chief operating officer of Honda's global automotive operations.

Honda will be moving its North American corporate headquarters to Ohio – where it set up Japan’s first auto assembly plant in the U.S. more than 30 years ago. Adding even more significance to the move is the promotion of Tetsuo Iwamura who will now serve as Honda’s global chief operating officer of automotive operations as well as COO of Honda North America.

About 50 executives and support staff are expected to make the move to Marysville, Ohio from the maker’s long-standing base of operations in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance.  But the California facility will remain Honda’s sales and marketing base of operations for the U.S.

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“These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations,” said Iwamura, who will now wear a number of hats including president and chief operating officer for North America, as well as the new assignments as the COO of Automobile Operations and risk management officer for Honda Motor Co., Ltd.


Is Toyota Heading East?

Carmaker may move jobs to Michigan or Kentucky.

by on Nov.24, 2009

Toyota may move key headquarters functions, including product development, out of California.  They could land in either Michigan or Kentucky.

Toyota may move key headquarters functions, including product development, out of California. They could land in Michigan or Kentucky.

Is Toyota ready to walk out on California?

Rumors have been swirling for some time that the giant maker, now facing increased pressures to curb costs, may be ready to move at least some of its U.S. headquarter operations out of the Golden State.  Some jobs may be heading to either Michigan or Kentucky.

Those two states would make sense for a move.  Kentucky is ground zero for Toyota’s core “transplant” assembly operations, while Michigan – though home to its Big Three rivals – has become a critical technical center for the Japanese maker.  Toyota recently opened a major engineering facility in the fringe western suburbs of Detroit that included a new test track.

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If a move does take place, it wouldn’t be the first.  Nissan moved its entire U.S. headquarters operations out of California, several years ago, and last year opened up a permanent new facility outside Nashville, Tennessee.

The financial impact of such a move could be significant, especially for budget-constrained California.  Though the state has been seeing a continuing influx of migrants, it has been struggling to hang onto jobs.  That’s particularly true in the automotive sector.  Not only did Nissan move, but Toyota recently announced that it would close the NUMMI assembly plant, near San Francisco, that it had been operating as part of a joint venture with General Motors for nearly a quarter century.  GM pulled out of the partnership in the wake of its bankruptcy.