Nissan Vice Chairman Bill Krueger sees new Americas plants as focus

Nissan Americas Vice Chairman Bill Krueger says company well-positioned as new model

Q1: Major product plans are in the pipeline in the few next years. But first, looking back at 2011, how do you see Nissan positioned? 

A1. I think the Americas are poised for the growth coming at us. I think we had a strong sales year in 2011, in spite a number of headwinds that we had, so I feel very confident as we go through this product onslaught, this 20 models in 24 months, that we’re poised to grow in all markets, in most segments throughout the Americas in 2012.

Q2. The Pathfinder will begin sales in the fall, the Altima and other cars are crucial ahead. How do you see this market shares or sales ahead?

A2. Definitely the industrial landscape is going to change. We’re soon to be launching the production version of the JX here in the next month – that’s the first that’s on our plate here within the region in 2012. but I think the sister model, the Pathfinder, is going to be a great addition to the three-row crossover that we’re going to have with the JX. I think both Infiniti and Nissan are poised to grab big chunks of what’s a large segment.

Q3. Before the Detroit show, there were some announcements about production in the U.S and Mexico. What can you tell us?

A3. Our Mexican facilities are full and that’s our aim in the next year with our U.S. facilities as well. We’re going to be adding shifts, hiring workforce, to hopefully fill all the shifts, and all the model lines at our U.S. plants.

We know that we’re full in Brazil that’s why we’ve added the Resende facility that we’re going to put on line, and all of the shifts this month we are launching the third shift in the CIVAC truck system, and that will put us on three shifts and at max capacity for the Mexican sites, and that is why they are logical choice for new expansion

The U.S. has a few more shifts and few more lines to get full and then they’ll be at full capacity.

Q4. Looking out to 2014 or to the Mid-term Plan business run, how large will production and sales become?

A4. Strategically, we are looking out into 2014-2016, but execution-wise we need to flawlessly execute the new models, the new shifts, the launch of the two plants that are already on our near-term horizon, that’s where most of our practical focus is – to get those right, to launch with high quality, to not have a stumble as w bring two new plants, that’s really where are focus is now.