UPDATE 1-Nissan CEO says he needs more North America capacity

Thu Apr 2, 2015 1:44pm EDT
 
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* Nissan looks to expand production in North America

* CEO Ghosn says more production needed to hit U.S. sales goal

* Nissan joins race with other automakers to capture US growth

By Joseph White

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Thursday the automaker needs more capacity in North America to fuel its growth.

Demand for Nissan Rogue sport utility vehicles can be supplied in the short term from plants in Korea and Japan, but longer term "we obviously need more capacity in North America," Ghosn told reporters at the New York auto show.

Nissan is driving to boost its market share in the United States to a "sustainable 10 percent" by 2017, he said. Nissan, including its Infiniti luxury brand, had a 9.3 percent share of the U.S. market as of the end of March and Ghosn said it aims to keep growing from there.

He did not lay out a timetable for further expansion of North American production, or say whether Nissan would build new plants or increase production within the factories it has.

Ghosn's signal of further investment in North America comes at a time when several rival automakers have also spoken of plans to add factories or assembly capacity in Mexico, the United States or Canada.   Continued...