ARGENTINA: Nissan becoming an OEM to make new pickup
The US version of the 2015 Frontier. It is offered with I4 and V6 petrol engines and a choice of cab styles
The Daimler-Nissan-Renault Alliance joint venture pickup truck project will lead to Nissan creating an OEM subsidiary in Argentina and becoming a domestic producer.
Nissan's redesigned NP300 Frontier is scheduled for production in Córdoba from 2018 and the US$600m spend to build it will create 1,000 new jobs, the automaker's Argentine unit announced. The plant will also build Renault and Mercedes-Benz variants, as announced earlier.
Global new NP300 production kicks off in 2016 at a Nissan plant in Mexico.
"Argentina now becomes a key component of Nissan's ambitious regional strategy to gradually position itself among the top three brands in Latin America," the automaker said in a statement.
"With a presence spanning 38 countries, Nissan stated its commitment to becoming a core member of the Argentinean automotive industry, a market expected to reach 1m [units] in sales in the mid-term."
"It is an honor for Nissan to bet on Argentina. We are stronger than ever and ready to contribute to the country's development. The company is placing our trust in Argentina's economic potential and looks forward to helping build a bright future as a key member of the domestic automotive industry," said Jose Luis Valls, chairman of Nissan Latin America and a senior vice president of Nissan Motor Corporation.
The Alliance will build pick-up trucks at Renault's existing factory in Córdoba, on a dedicated assembly line. The three truck brands will share some common NP300 architecture but "will have markedly different brand design and attributes, distinctive of each brand".
The new line will have capacity for 70,000 units a year. As well as 1,000 direct jobs, the automaker estimates another 2,000 indirect new hires.
"With this step, Argentina joins a network of global production sites for the NP300 Frontier that includes plants in Thailand, Mexico and, soon, Spain," Nissan said.
The redesigned Frontier will be launched at the Buenos Aires motor show next June. Sales start towards with the model imported initially from México. Production is expected to begin in Argentina by 2018, once local resources are ready.
It's the 12th generation pick-up for Nissan and the eighth to be launched in Latin America.