Nissan in talks with billionaire Eike Batista for a possible partnership in Brazil

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2011

Nissan Motor Co. is in discussions with billionaire Eike Batista about the possibility of a partnership in Brazil while it aims to increase vehicle output capacity by four times in the country.

According to the company’s COO Toshiyuki Shiga in an interview with reporters recently in Sao Paulo, the company is studying its options for a new facility in the country including an agreement with Batista, who is the richest man in Brazil.

He disclosed that the company is evaluating alternatives for its new Brazilian facility but he refused to reveal the details of the likely partners.

In addition, he states that Nissan intends to construct a plant in Brazil with capacity to manufacture 200,000 vehicles annually, and aims to increase market share in the country from 1.2 percent to 5 percent, as disclosed by CEO Carlos Ghosn last June 27.

Currently, the company’s annual capacity is 60,000 units through a plant shared with Renault SA in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, which is in the Southern Brazilian state of Parana.

Shiga added that the company has a “very strong commitment” to the market in Brazil -- the reason why it decided to invest in the new plant in the country.

He further stated that the company is still deciding on a location for the plant. Christian Mounier, the head of the company's Brazilian subsidiary, revealed in a press conference that Nissan is in a good position to attract investors who may provide the funds for the project. Obtaining financing from the National Development Bank in Brazil is also an option for Nissan, Mounier stated.

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