In a concerted effort to localize production at home, Nissan Australia announced this week that it will produce tow bars, sportbars, and nudge bars for its range of 4WD and passenger vehicles at its Dandenong, Victoria casting plant.
Previously, the tow bars were were sourced from a local supplier, then outsourced to Asian factories for production. According to the auto manufacturer, it is able to source the steel from an Australian supplier. Nudge bars and sportbars were manufactured overseas using foreign metals. Starting next year, sportbars will be made locally using Australian aluminum and 12 months later, nudge bars will be added to the production line.
By creating this local manufacturing, Nissan can establish a strong foundation for its GT2012 midterm business plan and Nissan Power 88 six-year plan to increase global market share and operating profit by 8%. The local sourcing also allows Nissan Australia some added protection against fluctuating currency movements.
The Dandenong, Victoria casting plant (NCAP) has undergone a $4 million retooling for the additional fabrication business, and with this initiative, sustains 20 full time positions at the casting plant. New robotics for polishing and finishing of these accessories will be optimized. Earlier this year, the plant was granted an exclusive suite of global manufacturing contracts from the parent company to produce aluminum components for the brand's new zero emission vehicles, including the LEAF electric car.
Known for its high pressure die casting, low pressure die casting, and CNC machining, the Dandenong facility produces eight core aluminum castings, including transmission housings, clutch housings, cylinder heads, and oil pan assemblies. It is on pace to produce nearly two million aluminum castings this year for Nissan models such as the Navara, DUALIS, Pathfinder, Murano, and X-TRAIL vehicles.
"The restructure gives Nissan direct influence over the factors which will have a critical influence on its growth and development," stated Nissan Australia executive general manager of aftersales and the NCAP Tony Carraturo. "We will have more control over lead times, costs, and shipping."