Nissan invests $400M to develop 2 new B-segment models on global V platform

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 17, 2011

Two new B-segment vehicles built on Nissan’s flexible global V platform -- a small car and a small multipurpose vehicle – are headed for Nissan's U.S. retailers. Last week, Nissan said that it intends to spend $400 million for these two new models (which are smaller than the Versa) to go into production in Mexico for sale in the Americas region, which possibly includes the U.S.

These models are additions to Nissan's lineup and are not replacements of current vehicles, says Autonews.

This means that there are four models potentially headed to the U.S. market to be spun off Nissan Motor Co.'s new V platform. It will also be used in the next-generation Versa sedan and hatchback, as well as in the March and other models for Latin American markets.

The expansion in Mexico addresses two of Nissan’s goals: providing smaller and more fuel-efficient products to its retailers and weaning its global product pipeline off Japan, where exports are more expensive due to the strong yen. Fuel-efficient models will be spun off the V platform for worldwide markets from factories in Mexico, China, India, and Thailand.

All V platform variants to be sold in the Americas, including the next-generation Versa, will be produced by Nissan's Aguascalientes, Mexico, plant.

Nissan had recently completed a $600 million investment in the plant to set up the V platform. Production had started last week of the March, a Latin American product that has the same size as BMW's Mini.

The new Versa is slated to debut later this year. This announcement comes only three weeks after the plant met a setback on its product plans. Last month, Daimler took over responsibility for Smart's U.S. production and distribution. This crushed a Mexico production deal for Nissan to build a new small car for the Smart retail network in the U.S.

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