Though it ended local manufacture and closed its factory in 1994, Nissan Motor has continued to cast metal components in Australia and its Melbourne foundry has won contracts to make parts for the redesigned 2018 Leaf, according to local media.

GoAutoNews reported Nissan Casting Australia (NCA) will manufacture two key die cast aluminium parts for export to Japan and the second generation Leaf EV. The 200-worker foundry in Dandenong South won the contract because suppliers in cheaper countries could struggle with the highly technical nature of the items, the report added.

NCA managing director Peter Jones told GoAutoNews the Australian casting operation had been retained because "I think when you look at some of the cheaper countries that these things could be produced in, the quality isn't always there".

Jones said the advent of highly technical EV production was a reason for Nissan Motor relying on the established NCA plant to deliver parts that were too important to fail.

The parts include the die cast aluminium housing and lid for the 'brains' of the electric motor assembly, dubbed a 'water jacket' because fluid threads around it to keep the insides cool.

A small kangaroo shape imprint is made on the outside of every part produced by the plant so the Australian parts should be recognisable in the new model.

"I think that we've started to specialise in these EV parts because they are so complex, they are so complicated, and getting the manufacturing process right is amazing," Jones told GoAutoNews.

The report said the two piece electric motor assembly for the Leaf was the latest contract for NCA, which produces 2.5m parts per year including hybrid powertrain components for the Asian markets e-Note, manual gearbox parts for the Navara, and oil pan and final drive assemblies for other Nissan and Renault models.

The supplier also makes towbar accessories for Australia. All other parts are exported and the operation was profitable last year, the report added.

Parts go to Japan, the US, Thailand and Mexico.

NCA opened in 1982.

The now-closed Australian car plant evolved into a full local manufacturing operation after Nissan initially started 'down under' with contract assembly of CKD kits in 1966. Toyota, however, was the first Japanese automaker to assemble cars in Australia, beginning in 1963.