Nissan Australia has announced that it will bring the manufacturing of a number of its 4WD and passenger vehicle accessories to Victoria in 2012.
Starting with around 30,000 tow bars, followed by sportbars and nudge bars, production will be carried out through a new $4 million upgrade at the carmaker's Dandenong plant.
The announcement dovetails into Nissan Australia's GT2012 import market leadership plan, which forms a part of the carmaker's Nissan Power 88 six-year plan to increase global market share and operating profit by eight percent.
“Nissan leads its competitors in volume and revenue from the 4WD accessory business," Nissan Australia Executive General Manager Aftersales & NCAP, Tony Carraturo said.
"This business restructure plays a major role in positioning Nissan for future growth; our midterm goals of importer market leadership and an even greater footprint in the 4WD commercial and leisure segments.
He added that the repatriation of manufacturing will give Nissan Australia greater control over lead times, costs and shipping.
The production of accessories at the Nissan Casting Plant will sustain 20 full-time jobs.
Nissan previously sourced its tow bars from a local supplier, which then outsourced production to Asian factories. Steel for the accessories will also be sourced from an Australian supplier.
From next year, sportbars for the Navara will enter production, followed in early 2013 by nudge bars - a lightweight alternative to larger bull bars. Australian-sourced aluminium will be used.
Carraturo said that rigorous testing will be carried out in Australia, and a durability laboratory will be established in Dandenong next year.
Nissan Leaf Components
Apart from accessories, Nissan's Dandenong plant is involved in the production of components for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.
By the time the Leaf goes on sale in Australia in mid-2012, the Nissan Casting Plant is expected to be producing 22,000 electric vehicle components each month.