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Micra now from Indonesia

Short supply: Nissan Australia has taken action to secure supply for its most popular vehicles.

Supply issues force Nissan Australia to switch source from Thailand for its baby car

Nissan logo29 Nov 2011

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in TOKYO

NISSAN’S Micra light car is now being built in Indonesia rather than Thailand for the Australian market.

The move comes just 12 months after the fourth-generation version went on sale here, but Nissan Australia said it has nothing to do with the recent devastating floods in Thailand.

Nissan says it made the decision well over a year ago, to ensure sufficient production numbers were reaching Australia.

Speaking to GoAuto in Japan this week, Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Dan Thompson said demand for the latest Micra had always outstripped supply, so Indonesia had been chosen to take over from Thailand long before the country’s current woes, which have forced Honda to switch sourcing of some models to Japan.

GoAuto reported exclusively in August that Nissan Australia was looking to factories beyond Thailand for extra supplies of its Micra, with Indonesia favoured as a potential source of the light car. India was also under consideration.

“We announced it to our dealer network a few months ago, and we started production (in Indonesia) last month,” said Mr Thompson.

12 center imageLeft: Nissan Micra. Below: Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Dan Thompson.

“It’s the ongoing saga of capacity constraints out of Thailand. From day one with Micra we could never get anywhere near the production that we wanted, so we started working on Indonesia basically as soon as we launched the car out of Thailand.”

Only some D40 Navaras, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tiida and the forthcoming Almera light car – essentially a Micra sedan and due in the second quarter of next year – are to be sourced from the company’s Thailand manufacturing base going into 2012.

The Micra’s move to Indonesia is the latest in a series of actions Nissan Australia has undertaken recently to ensure a secure supply for its most popular vehicles.

Sourcing for Australia has even returned to Japan, despite the earthquake and tsunami in March that shut one Nissan plant for three months.

Mr Thompson said Maxima production returned to Japan about a year ago, D22 Navara moved back to Japan earlier this month and some D40 Navara production has moved to Spain.

“All of those have been in the works over the past 18 months,” said Mr Thompson.

“We’re trying to be very proactive in ensuring that we’re not capping our success with Navara or Micra in any way or shape or form because of limited production.”

He said manufacturing flexibility means that production in some instances can be moved again very quickly should circumstances like natural disasters or factory supply constraints occur.

“We’re always continuing to look at other options with Micra and with Almera – in fact, all of the product that we have that has multiple sourcing.

“At the moment Micra is being produced in India, Indonesia and Thailand, and all three of those being a global option to move production around, so everything is on the table to try and remove supply-based stress.”

The only specification change in the swap from Thailand to Indonesia has been a reduction in the Micra colour choices.

“We’ve lost a few colours, but that is the extent. It’s basically CKD (completely knocked down) assembly from Thailand, so it was simply a matter of picking up existing spec out of Thailand and moving it into Indonesia.”

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