The next-generation Nissan Micra will mark the return of European production of the city car, with manufacturing to start at a Renault plant in France in 2016.
Taking advantage of the existing alliance between Nissan and Renault, an estimated 82,000 Nissan Micras will be manufactured annually at the French manufacturer’s Flins plant, located near Paris, for sale across Europe’s left-hand-drive markets.
Part of the Nissan Power 88 six-year business strategy announced in 2011 that aims to see the Japanese carmaker launch a new model every six weeks until the end of 2016, the latest European production plan will see manufacturing of the Micra (badged as a March in some markets) expand outside its current four locations in China, India, Thailand and Mexico.
Nissan says the decision to start production at Renault’s Flins plant benefits the company in terms of capital expense reduction, foreign exchange exposure reduction and working capital reduction through shorter supply chains.
Renault was able to assign production of the new Micra to Flins after recent labor negotiations were concluded with union representatives signing a new contract on March 13.
Chairman and CEO for both Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, said the production plan was an example of the Renault Agreement – committed to increasing production volume of French plants by 180,000 vehicles per year to 710,000 vehicles annually – beginning to bear fruit.
“This announcement is good news for Flins, but also for all Renault plants in France,” Ghosn said.
At the start of 2013, production of Australian delivered Nissan Micras shifted from Indonesia to India, resulting in the 75kW/136Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine being replaced with a 56kW/100Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit.
European-bound Micras were built in the UK from 1992 until July 2010.
The facelifted Nissan Micra, only revealed last month, is due to go on sale globally mid-year.