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Nissan to build Micra in Europe again

Next-gen Nissan Micra to use spare Renault manufacturing capacity in France

Nissan logo29 Apr 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

NISSAN will help alliance partner Renault use excess manufacturing capacity in economically ravaged Europe by building the next-generation Micra light car in Flins, France, from 2016.

An estimated 82,000 Micras will be built at Flins each year, returning European sourcing of the model to the region after what will by then be a six-year hiatus.

Renault was asked to produce the Micra on Nissan’s behalf, and the French company chose Flins, on the western fringe of Paris, where compact models such as the Zoe EV and Clio are assembled.

Talks between Renault and union representatives, to increase the competitiveness of its French production facilities, ended on March 13, giving it the green light to produce the Nissan vehicles.

Renault group chief executive Carlos Ghosn described the manufacturing deal as “good news for Flins, but also for all Renault plants in France”.

“The efforts committed by our employees under the Renault agreement are beginning to bear fruit ... Renault is in line to fulfil its commitments.” Renault’s side of the agreement is a commitment to increase production volume at its French factories by 180,000 vehicles per year, to 710,000, with 100,000 coming from new products and 80,000 from partners including Nissan.

According to Nissan, benefits of the agreement include “capital expense reduction, foreign exchange exposure reduction and working capital reduction through shorter supply chains”.

Nissan Europe management committee chairman Trevor Mann said the company was “pleased to leverage the economic and logistical benefits of sourcing the next-generation Micra at a forecasted annual volume of 82,000 units from a Renault plant in Europe”.

“Nissan already sources powertrain from the (Renault) Cleon facility and the NV400 light commercial vehicle from the (Renault) Batilly plant.” In 2010 the arrival of Nissan’s Juke SUV moved Micra production for the European market from Sunderland in Britain – where 2.3 million Micras were built over 18 years – to Chennai, India.

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