Nissan plans new US plant, says COO

On Friday, Nissan Motor Co. chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said he “may not be a surpriseif the automaker chooses to open another manufacturing plant in the United States. A new facility, which would mark the third in the United States, would be dedicated solely to building electric vehicles as demand for them grows.

Nissan currently operates plants in Canton, Missouri, and Smyrna, Tennessee. Besides the Tennessee plant that builds the Nissan Leaf EV, both facilities produce internal combustion engine vehicles.

Although the potential location of a new factory has not been announced, Gupta said, “The importance of location will increase year by year.” Nissan’s ultimate choice is expected to hinge on incentives for electric vehicles in particular locations and the exchange rate when the automaker makes the potential decision.

Gupta, however, said a third plant would be brand new, even if located near plants in Mississippi or Tennessee. Like existing factories, a new one should have thousands of employees and build millions of vehicles.

For the first time in the past three years, Nissan finally said it had returned to profitability, with net profit landing at $1.7 billion. Global sales rose 7% for the year, but reportedly fell in the US and Asia.

Like the entire auto industry, Nissan has been badly hit by semiconductor chip shortages, logistical issues and periodic shutdowns during the pandemic.

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