“We are convinced of the great potential that South America has for the development of our activities. We not only have a great brand but also an increasingly consolidated network of distributors and the good talent of our employees to drive our growth. This new investment is a sign of our strong commitment to continue to bring the best of our Japanese technology and engineering to our customers,” said Ashwani Gupta, COO of Nissan Motor at the press conference.
This new investment has among its objectives the development of local engineering and automation processes and know-how; locations for new products; and evolve the infrastructure.
As the managers had planned, the Resende industrial complex started operating a few days ago, with an additional team. The new shift required months of preparation and training for the 578 new employees hired to increase production capacity. The aim is to strengthen the manufacture of the new SUV Nissan Kicks to meet the strong demand from local and export markets, as explained by the Japanese company.
Over the past 10 years (in historical value), Nissan has invested 1.7 million US dollars (3.45 billion reais) in Brazil. While the Resende plant, which will celebrate its 8th anniversary on April 15, has reached the mark of 500,000 vehicles produced since the start of its operations in 2014. On the other hand, Nissan has already exported around 80,000 vehicles produced in this plant , to a total of eight Latin American countries since the start of its export operation in 2016.
This year, Nissan will produce 86,000 units from Brazil, 76,000 will remain in the Brazilian market and 10,000 will be exported to Argentina. Photo: Nissan
“This year we will produce from Brazil, 86,000 units, 76,000 will remain on the Brazilian market and 10,000 will be exported to Argentina”, specifies Airton Cousseau, president of Nissan Mercosur and general manager of Nissan Brazil.
The history of the Japanese company in Latin America begins in Brazil, where it has been present as a subsidiary for 20 years. “Then we started to see the great potential of South America and so in 2015 we decided to open subsidiaries in Chile and Argentina. This decision is important because when opening subsidiaries, we think about the long term, by making projects over 10 years. A distributor, on the other hand, if he has problems or a country devalues for example, he stops serving and imports again when the outlook improves. On the other hand, with a direct presence, much higher levels of satisfaction can be offered thanks to this continuity”, explains Guy Rodríguez.
According to Rodríguez, this was the key to reaching the third place in the Chilean market share, with a market share of 7%. “In Argentina, where we recently had 1.5% market share, today we have 5%. In view of these good results, we decided in 2018 to open our subsidiary in Peru. And we are doing very well there too, ”he summarizes.
questions of numbers
According to the latest report presented by the automaker, Nissan increased its sales by 19% in 2021, in South America, representing a 0.3 percentage point increase in market share, compared to 2020.
While in the four subsidiaries it has in the region, they have also recorded significant results. Argentina achieved commercial growth of 26% compared to 2020, positioning itself in December with a market share of 6.7%, the highest in the brand’s history in the country. In Brazil, the brand put nearly 65,000 units on the market, 6.4% more than the previous year, increasing its share by 0.2 percentage points.
For its part, the Chilean market increased its sales by 36%, while the subsidiary in Peru achieved an incredible growth of 78.6% in sales and managed to close the year with a market share of 5, 6%, up 1.2 percentage points from 2020.
Factory in Argentina
In the factory located in the Argentine province of Córdoba, a new production shift will also be implemented in the coming months. It is precisely in the Santa Isabel plant that the company produces its iconic Frontier pick-up. Note that this factory belongs to Renault and is part of an agreement that the Japanese firm has signed with the French company to be able to use the infrastructure and experience of its employees.
Since 2015, the automaker has invested 600 million US dollars in this plant and, moreover, announced, in 2020, an investment of 130 million US dollars to renew the product offer.
With this new shift, which will start operating in the second half of this year, Nissan will be able to double its annual production from 25,000 to 50,000 units to meet not only the strong growth in demand from Argentina, but also to export markets. such as Brazil and the recently announced markets of Chile and Colombia, for which it will be produced under Euro6 emissions regulations.
Similarly, 550 new jobs will be created to cover the implementation of the new shift.
Frontier production in Argentina began in 2018, the same year it began exports to Brazil, a market to which a total of 31,000 units have been delivered through the end of 2021.
“The pick-up hasn’t stopped growing. In 2021, Nissan produced 18,461 units, 67% more than the previous year. In terms of sales, it reached a growth of 58% with a historic record of 11.2% for the segment in Argentina in the month of July. Brazil, for its part, was no exception. The pick-up, made in Argentina, sold 11,821 units and managed to exceed its best results by 46%,” summarizes Rodríguez.
In addition, the leader assures that these planned investments will be fundamental for his company. “They will allow us to continue to grow and demonstrate that Nissan has arrived in the region to become one of the three most relevant brands,” added the general manager of Nissan South America.
The industrial complex in Resende, Brazil, started operating a few days ago, with an additional team. Photo: Nissan.
Financial made in Chile
As part of its event in Iguazú, Nissan made another important announcement for the regional market: the signing of an agreement for the creation of a financing company with Tanner Servicios Financieros, which will be the first of its kind for the company in South America.
“Since we will own the financial institution, we will be able to program the standards of care that we want. It is that when it is financed by a bank we depend on its approval and its deadlines. If we own the financial company, we can take on more risk, for example, we could allow sellers to directly approve credit via mobile phone. Otherwise, we depend on the structure of a bank, the interests of a bank and the speed of a bank, to allocate credits,” Rodríguez explains.
Nissan currently has its own financial companies in just seven locations around the world, including the United States and Mexico. “It would be our first financial institution in South America and it’s great news for all our customers in Chile,” adds the Nissan executive, who clarifies that the new company will start operations once all the corresponding regulatory approvals have been obtained. obtained from the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor’s Office
Beyond the company’s good recent results, the panorama of the automotive industry still seems complicated if we take into account the economic context of the region and the proliferation of Korean and Chinese brands which are fighting in Latin America. , with very competitive prices. .
And it is that, year after year, Asian companies are gaining momentum, both globally and regionally. According to Statista, China not only asserts itself as the world’s largest automobile producer, but also manages to maintain a notable margin compared to the rest of the powers.
But far from being worried, the general manager of Nissan South America ensures that the competition is good and welcome. “It forces us to pay attention to what the customer wants and challenges us to go further. In any case, I think that beyond the price, what seems very important to us is the shopping experience that a user has before, during and after the purchase”, he underlines .
According to Rodríguez, when buying a car, customers assess whether they will have assistance or a solution to any problem with the vehicle after purchase. “Furthermore, another fundamental point is the resale value. When a company does not have good after-sales service, the car is devalued because consumers do not want it. We work hard on customer satisfaction throughout the process and, above all, after-sales. If someone has a Nissan car, they have the flexibility of being able to change it and the peace of mind of being able to have it serviced at our dealerships, at a competitive price. This has set us apart in all the markets in the region and, fundamentally, in the Chilean market, which is very competitive,” he summarizes.
Border production in Argentina began in 2018, the same year it began exports to Brazil.
Electrification is another big issue for the automotive industry and Latin America seems to be lagging behind compared to Europe, the United States and some Asian countries. The first thing the Nissan official points out about this issue is that electric cars should be used in countries with a clean energy grid.
“If I have a car that doesn’t generate emissions when I drive it, but I come home and plug it into a country that burns coal to give me electricity, that’s not In South America, and especially in Brazil and Argentina where there is so much water and dams, the energy matrix of the country is cleaner. But, on the other hand, one of the challenges that these countries have is that they are very large, so when the user wants to move to another city, it is essential that there are stations to be able to recharge the vehicles”, he highlights.
With these words, the executive shows that the big outstanding account of our region in terms of electrification: infrastructure. “It is essential that drivers can move around the country with their electric car. This is the big challenge we have for the electric vehicle sector to continue to grow in our region,” he concludes.