Motor Co. Ltd. will expand capacity for its Versa in North America, adding the small car into the mix at a second plant in Mexico.
The auto maker says production of the Versa will begin in March on a new flexible manufacturing line at the Cuernavaca, Mexico, plant, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Mexico City. Exports of the car to the U.S. will begin in April.
does not say how many Versas the facility will be able to build.
The added production will create about 1,500 jobs at Cuernavaca, bringing total employment to nearly 3,500. Hiring already is under way.
The Versa has been in tight supply in the U.S. ever since its launch in June, Nissan says. The auto maker had an 18-day supply of the small cars in the U.S. at the end of October, Ward’s data shows.
“The Versa is a great car, and our dealers have been asking us for more,” says Bill Bosley, Nissan North America Inc. vice president and general manager for the Nissan Div. “It is helping drive customers into Nissan showrooms, and we’re looking forward to increasing its availability.”
Cuernavaca began operation in 1966 as the first wholly owned Nissan plant outside of Japan. It currently produces the Nissan Tsuru car and the D21 chassis and light-duty truck for the Mexican market. It has produced more than 1.4 million vehicles in its 40-year history.