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Nissan to Boost Americas Capacity by 2 Million Vehicles

Nissan Motor Co., pushing to make more vehicles at plants in the Americas, said it will have the ability to build more than 2 million autos annually in the region by early next year.

The carmaker is spending more than $5 billion to expand capacity in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil, the Yokohama, Japan-based company said yesterday in a statement. Expansion in the U.S. will help Nissan almost double exports from plants in Tennessee and Mississippi, the company said in a separate release.

Nissan began a push to build up production capacity in North America following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami that caused some supplier disruptions, and after the yen surged to a record high against the dollar, making imports to the U.S. less profitable. Japan’s second-largest automaker hasn’t pulled back on the expansion even as the yen has weakened in the past year.

The addition of a third plant in Mexico and a new factory in Brazil, along with upgrades at Nissan’s U.S. plants, will add about 10,000 jobs in North America and South America, the company said.

Nissan set a target last year of getting 85 percent of vehicles its sells in the U.S. from within North America by 2015, up from 69 percent in 2011. The company’s North American operations are based in Franklin, Tennessee.

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