Nissan has proven its dedication to Mexico with a number of recent investments, one of which is vehicle distribution center (VDC) at the company’s Aguascalientes A2 plant. The investment of US$31 million aimed was at expanding exports for the Sentra models manufactured at the plant, with a goal of sending 720 to the US on a daily basis. The VDC was completed in August 2014 and now distributes 720 vehicles by rail to the US or Brazil, as well as a further 629 vehicles via road freight. Six hours after a vehicle is produced in Nissan’s A2 plant, it is ready in the VDC. Another six hours later, the vehicle is either at the US border or in Veracruz, ready to be exported by sea. Boasting 14km of railroad infrastructure, the VDC is capable of the simultaneous loading of 144 platforms. Nissan’s principal third party logistics provider is Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, which covers all yard and transport operations for the company. Any by-rail vehicles are sent across the border at Eagle Pass, El Paso, and Laredo. The development has been good news for railroad operator Kansas City Southern, which opened a new distribution center for Nissan vehicles at the 800-acre CenterPoint Intermodal Center near Houston in 2009. Having seen a drop in business in recent years, it is likely that Nissan’s VDC will boost trade for the company. The VDC was built to cater specifically to the current and upcoming logistics operations created by the strategic alliance between Renault-Nissan and Daimler. This cooperation project will be housed at a further plant in Aguascalientes, to be built near the A2 complex, and at full capacity Nissan projects an annual production of 300,000 vehicles. In light of this, Nissan is also planning a second phase of development in which the plant capacity will be expanded to export 1,320 units daily by rail and 650 by road. Aguascalientes has become pivotal for Nissan’s Mexican operations. Manufacturing capacity of the Sentra can reach 170,000 units per year, and accounts for more than half the units produced in 2014 by Nissan. Furthermore, the impressive combined production rates of both Nissan plants in Aguascalientes means that the manufacturer is producing a new vehicle every 38 seconds, so the move to develop a VDC that could handle this volume was essential for the company to sustain its success in North America.
Tue, 09/01/2015 - 13:57