Infiniti global president says carmaker may build new small car in Mexico

Article by Anita Panait, on August 21, 2012

Infiniti may possibly produce a new small car in Mexico, according to Johan de Nysschen, the marquee's new global president. De Nysschen, a former Audi of America President, said that it is only reasonable to produce in or near the United States if the vehicle being built is targeted primarily towards the US. It should be noted that the former Audi of America President was influential in Audi's decision in April 2012 to construct its first North American vehicle assembly plant in Mexico.

He added that producing vehicles for the global market is more complicated since the company has to consider its aspirations for further growth in Europe as well as South America.

He said that if Infiniti exports vehicles from the US to Europe, it has to pay import duties. But if the company exports vehicles from Mexico, it doesn’t pay these duties. According to de Nysschen, these are some of the factors to consider when Infiniti considers where to build its next plant.

De Nysschen, however, did not disclose what model the company will be built in the region. Infiniti has confirmed that it will insert a new small car to its global portfolio, and has already made arrangements to build a Mercedes Benz-designed four-cylinder engine for it in Decherd, Tennessee. According to de Nysschen, he is assessing various scenarios as Infiniti reconsiders where it builds its vehicles.

With the exception of the new Infiniti JX, all of the company’s models are built in Japan, where the strong yen has been eating up the carmaker’s profits. De Nysschen remarked that the company has no intentions to pull all production out of Japan, quipping that Infiniti is looking at creating more production capacity to help drive the growth of the brand.

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