Nissan will invest $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) in a new factory in Brazil that is expected to produce 200,000 cars per year, the Japanese automaker's chief executive Carlos Ghosn said on Thursday.
The factory, to be constructed in the town of Resende, will be "one of the most modern Nissan plants in Brazil," Ghosn said, flanked by the governor of Rio de Janeiro state where the new facility is to be based.
Ghosn, who heads Nissan's joint venture with France's Renault, added that the factory is to be "a platform for the consolidation of our activity in Brazil," where Renault too is ramping up its efforts to dramatically boost its share of the large and lucrative auto market here.
"Just as Nissan has demonstrated in China, Russia and India, we are investing in the regions with the most potential for growth," Ghosn said, in additional remarks made in a written statement.
"Brazil has clearly emerged as the engine of Latin American growth, and we look forward to contributing to Brazil's economic landscape and its automotive manufacturing base in the 21st century," he said.
Cars are due to begin rolling off the new factory's assembly line in the first quarter of 2014, Ghosn said. Nissan says the new plant will create some 2,000 jobs.
Nissan to date has no manufacturing facility of its own in South America's largest economy, producing vehicles at the Renault factory in the southern Brazilian state of Parana.
Rio's governor Sergio Cabral expressed his "distinct pleasure" that the new venture would be located in his state.
"Nissan has chosen to invest in Rio de Janeiro because they see our region becoming a major hub for multinational corporations and their skilled workers," he said.
"Today's Rio is the embodiment of a growing economy, a skilled workforce and unlimited future potential and companies like Nissan want to be a part of this exciting period in our history."
The Nissan-Renault venture aims to increase market share in Brazil from the 1.5 percent today to at least five percent by 2016.
Nissan aims to launch 10 new models in Brazil between now and 2016 and boost its sales network from 117 dealerships to 239.
Renault, which has produced cars in Brazil since the late 1990s, for its part announced on Wednesday an investment of about $265 million (200 million euros) in its plant in Curitiba, in Parana state, as it aims to increase its market share in Brazil.