Japanese manufacturers preparing the largest North American output expansion

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 28, 2012

The automakers in Japan are preparing for the largest wave of North American output expansion in 10 years. Their goal is to get back the market share that they lost due to the natural disasters that took place in Japan in 2011. They also aim to increase sales in the most robust market in the world and avoid the impact of a dollar-yen exchange rate that hurts profits from Japan. While Japanese automakers have revived their North American production to record heights, a shortage in the stock is the most significant obstacle to increasing sales. That’s why the officials of nearly all Japanese companies are working to increasing their capacity in what is referred to as their most major market. Construction is ongoing for several plants.

The CEOs of Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. have recently outlined new capacity increases for North America, building on those that were announced in the past year. This month, Toyota Motor Corp. said that it will boost its North American output by 50,000 units. It will accomplish this by encouraging Mazda Motor Corp. to add capacity at Mazda's plant being constructed in Mexico and produce a compact car there that will wear a Toyota badge.

boss of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which recently stopped producing four vehicles at its money-losing Illinois plant, hopes to expand its output there next year. Automakers seem to be in a frenzy to construct factories. Construction is at its busiest since 2000-03.

This was the time when Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant was being built while it expanded its Alliston, Ontario plant. This was also when Nissan constructed a plant in Canton, Mississippi, and underwent the expansion for the Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Toyota almost doubled its capacity at its Indiana plant and has revealed plans for a pickup plant in San Antonio. Subaru has also boosted the capacity at its lone North American plant.

Topics: japan, north america

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