Nissan plans to invest 2.8 billion reais ($575 million) in its Brazilian factory, with the goal of doubling its market share in Latin America’s biggest economy by 2026.
The Japanese carmaker had previously planned to invest 1.3 billion reais, a figure that was announced in April 2022. It’s now adding another 1.5 billion reais through 2023 to 2025, the company said Tuesday.
Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s chief executive officer, was in Brasilia on Monday to present the spending plan to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Nissan currently exports Kicks, the only product made in Brazil, to eight countries in Latin America. The plant investment is part of a plan to introduce a renewed Kicks, as well as another SUV at the factory located in the city of Resende, in Rio de Janeiro, in addition to a new turbo engine.
“Nissan has already been in the country for 23 years and believes that there is a great possibility of growth in the automotive market as a whole in Brazil,” Uchida said to journalists in Brasilia.
The goal is for one of the new SUVs to be exported to at least 20 countries in the region, according to Uchida. That opens up the possibility that the Resende plant, which currently operates in two shifts, could open a third production shift around 2027.
The goal is to more than double the carmaker’s market share in Brazil, to 7% from the current 3.4% in 2026. In addition to Nissan’s investments, four new suppliers will be installed next to the Resende complex, also opening up the possibility of generating indirect jobs.
The platform to be produced in Brazil will offer Nissan’s e-Power technology, which combines electricity and a combustion engine, when the consumer market demands this type of product, Guy Rodriguez, Nissan Latin America President, told journalists. Asked whether e-Power could work with ethanol-based fuels, Rodriguez said that Nissan is still working to ensure that the biofuel will have the necessary performance. “The logic based on market demand would be either flex and electricity or gasoline and electricity, not just ethanol,” he said.
Uchida told reporters that Brazil, as well as Latin America, is a strategic market for Nissan.
“There was a conversation with the president Lula about how to make the local automotive market grow, because to continue selling cars and improving everyone’s experience, it is very important that the economy is growing.”