CORDOBA, Argentina – Nissan will stick to its wager on Latin America regardless of short-term economic turbulence in the region, company President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa said on Monday.
At an event to mark the start of production of the Frontier pickup truck in Cordoba, Saikawa said that Brazil and Argentina are Nissan’s manufacturing hubs in South America.
“Our investment strategy remains unchanged and the current crisis in Argentina does not represent a problem,” the Nissan CEO said, expressing confidence in the economic policies of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who was on hand for the ceremony.
“If Argentina handles the short-term turbulence, the international community will believe in the viability of the country’s economy. For our part, we are convinced that our investment strategy is solid,” Saikawa said.
Nissan has invested $600 million in the Renault facility in Cordoba, which will eventually turn out 70,000 vehicles a year, creating 1,000 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs.
The company expects 9,000 Frontier trucks to roll off the assembly line between now and the end of this year, with output rising to 50,000 in 2019, said the chairman of Nissan Latin America, Jose Luis Valls.
With the opening of the Cordoba plant, Argentina becomes part of what the automaker calls the Nissan Frontier global manufacturing network, alongside Thailand, China, Mexico and Spain.
The Cordoba plant joins the Nissan complex in Resende, Brazil, as well as a major facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico, that produces Nissans for export to the United States and for the Mexican domestic market.
The governor of Cordoba province, Juan Schiaretti, hailed the start of Frontier production as historic and as validation of the province’s role as the “cradle of the automotive industry in Argentina.”