Nissan Motor Co. is planning to add capacity for production of 100,000 Infinity brand vehicles in a North American plant.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Co, is scheduled to meet with Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry for Canada.
Nysschen told WSJ that it would be an exploratory talk, while the Minister’s office said he would be making a push for investment by highlighting Canada’s skilled labor, business-friendly taxation and infrastructure.
Nysschen also said that existing Nissan plants in Mexico and Smyrna, Tennessee would be considered.
If Nissan decides to go with a new plant in Canada, they will have to invest about $2 billion. If they choose Smyrna or the Mexican plant, the investment required would be half the cost of the new plant.
Either way, localized production of Infinity vehicles in North America will create 2,000 new Nissan jobs in the region, with production scheduled to be underway by 2017.
This plant is part of Nissan’s on-going strategy to expand its geographical manufacturing footprint and localize production regionally. Last year in December, the company announced that it would be adding a compact Infiniti brand to its Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom, with production scheduled to begin in 2015.
That $407 million investment added capacity for production of 60,000 Infiniti vehicles and created 1,000 new jobs in the U.K. Before that, Nissan had announced that the Xiangyang plant in China would get a $315 million investment, with Infiniti production scheduled for 2014.
For North America, the company has a goal of producing 85 percent of all Infiniti and Nissan vehicles locally.
The first 7-passenger 2013 Infiniti JX luxury crossover rolled off the assembly line in Smyrna, TN last year in Feb. At that time, Susan Brennan, vice president for Manufacturing for the Smyrna and Decherd plants, said they were honored to produce the Infiniti JX in Middle Tennessee, and that quality craftsmanship would go into each new Infiniti model rolling off the Smyrna production lines.
Nissan has already spent $2.5 billion on the Smyrna plant, which has a 550,000 annual production capacity, with the Rogue crossover and all-electric Nissan Leaf taking up 300,000 units. Nissan already employs 6,000 workers at the Smyrna plant, and another 1,400 in Decherd, which is a powertrain assembly plant.