SHANGHAI--Nissan Motor Co. 7201.TO -0.39% is considering a new plant in North America to produce at least 100,000 of its premium Infiniti vehicles a year, likely starting in 2017 as the auto maker fans out production globally from Japan.
"One of the challenges we face is that we really do not have a diversified geographical footprint for manufacturing," Infiniti Motor Co. President Johan de Nysschen said Sunday.
Apart from producing one model in the U.S. for global consumption, the Infiniti brand's current production was "totally concentrated" in Japan, he said.
In addition, premium compact models for the global market will be produced at Nissan's Sunderland plant in the U.K. starting in 2015.
Nissan has been the most aggressive of Japan's Big Three auto makers to shift production outside of the country during recent years. That stems from an effort to lower Nissan's exposure to the yen, make more cars in the markets where the company sells them, and adjust to the rapidly shrinking Japanese vehicle market.
The yen has weakened against the U.S. dollar recently, but only after a run to a strengthening to a record level in October 2011. A strong yen hurts the price competitiveness of Japanese exports and reduces the value of profits earned abroad when they are returned home.