Three years after starting operations, Nissan Brazil has now built 150,000 cars at its Resende Industrial Complex.

The milestone car was a grey Kicks, a crossover model designed primarily for emerging markets.

The plant, opened in April 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, also manufactures the March and Versa and added a second shift in July.

The Resende plant was built to support Nissan’s plan to expand its footprint in Latin America. The plant passed the 30,000 mark a year after opening and 70,000 in two years. At the same time, in 2016, it began exports to eight Latin American markets. This year, five months after the third anniversary of the plant, Nissan achieved a new record in the number of cars produced locally, for both domestic and export markets.

Built from April 2017, the Kicks already accounts for almost 50% of monthly production. Workforce is now 2,400 people and the plant is part of an investment totalling BRL750m (US$239m).

Vehicles produced in Resende are now exported to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Nissan also has its Cordoba Plant in Argentina (being prepared to produce the NP300 Frontier from 2018) to supply Latin America.

Resende was the automaker’s first wholly owned plant in Brazil. Production started with the March (Micra) compact hatchback and the 1.6 litre 16V flex-fuel engine developed specially for Brazil’s ethanol fuel.

Nissan has since added the one litre, three cylinder 12V engine, the Versa compact sedan and, this year, the Kicks.

Resende has body, paint, plastic injection moulding and assembly shops, a quality inspection area, a powertrain plant and a test track.