The CEO of Nissan Motor Company, Makoto Uchida, has announced a significant investment of $250 million in the company’s powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee. This investment is intended to support the electrification of Nissan’s vehicle lineup, as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States continues to grow and government initiatives support this trend.
Although Uchida did not specify when the investment will occur or provide specific details about its purpose, he did indicate that it is part of Nissan’s increased efforts to electrify its vehicles in the US. This investment brings Nissan’s total commitments to US electrification to $750 million, following last year’s announcement of a $500 million investment to retool its assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, to produce two all-electric sedans for the Nissan and Infiniti brands, which are expected to enter production in 2025.
It is likely that the Decherd investment will be used to expand the production of electric motors, as the plant currently produces approximately 1.4 million internal combustion engines per year and electric motors for the Leaf EV, which is assembled at a nearby factory in Smyrna.
The CEO of Nissan acknowledged in a recent interview that the global market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing at a faster pace than the company had anticipated. In November 2021, Nissan had forecasted that half of its global sales would be electrified by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2031, with 40% of its US volume coming from EVs. However, the executive now states that the company expects to surpass these targets in every market, including the United States, which plays a vital role in Nissan’s electrification strategy.
The executive attributed the increased adoption of EVs to government regulations and incentives such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). While the IRA may present challenges for Nissan in the short term, the executive believes it will ultimately enable EVs to gain market share in the United States.
In addition, the executive announced that Nissan plans to invest further in the United States as part of their previously announced plan to spend $15.58 billion (2 trillion yen) on electrification worldwide through 2026. The carmaker is expected to announce a revised US electrification target on March 31, 2024. The executive also revealed that Nissan’s US plan will focus on pure EVs rather than e-Power hybrids, as the latter are not well-suited for the high-speed, long-distance driving conditions in the United States.