Nissan to pump $1.5 bn into its first Brazil factory

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Nissan will invest $1.5 billion (1.12 billion euros) in a new factory in Brazil, where it hopes to produce more than 200,000 units per year, the Japanese automaker said Thursday.

Nissan to date has no manufacturing facility of its own in South America's largest economy, producing vehicles at the factory of its French partner Renault in the southern Brazilian state of Parana.

Production in the new factory, to be built in the town of Resende, in Rio de Janeiro state, will begin in the first quarter of 2014, according to a Nissan statement.

The announcement comes as Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who also heads Renault, visits Brazil with the companies targeting the country's large and lucrative auto market.

The move marks a new step in the group's strategy of beefing up its presence in emerging economies, according to the company. It says it wants to increase market share in Brazil from the 1.5 percent today to at least five percent by 2016.

Nissan aims to launch 10 new models in Brazil between now and 2016 and boost its sales network from 117 dealerships to 239.

The investment will lead to creation of some 2,000 jobs, Nissan said.

Renault, which has produced cars in Brazil since the late 1990s, for its part announced on Wednesday an investment of about $265 million (200 million euros) in its plant in Curitiba, in Parana state, as it, too, aims to increase its market share in Brazil.

© 2011 AFP

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