Nissan has officially opened a vehicle distribution centre (VDC) at second plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico following an investment of $31m. The carmaker said the facility would accelerate the export of the Sentra vehicles made at the plant and push the daily number sent to the US to 720. Currently 100% of the Sentras produced at the Aguascalientes A2 complex are for export.
The facility, which was completed in five months, is built on 72 hectares of land and has a railroad infrastructure of 14km, allowing for the simultaneous operation of 144 platforms. It is one of largest VDCs in Mexico according to Nissan. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is the principal third party provider for yard and transport operations for Nissan.
Sentra vehicles are transferred by rail across the border to the US or to the port of Veracruz for ocean forwarding to Brazil. By rail vehicles cross the border at both Eagle Pass and El Paso with rail provider Ferromex, and at Laredo (Texas) with Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM).
Nissan plans a second phase of development in which the capacity at the plant will be expanded to export 1,320 units a day by rail and 650 by road. Export markets will also be expanded to include other Latin American markets as well as those in Europe.
WWL is operating a vehicle processing centre at the Aguascalientes facility and providing various accessorisation on the vehicles, as well as yard management and rail loading. Rail loading started in the last week of June the company currently employs 200 employees there.
The carmaker expects to make nearly 800,000 units in Mexico by the end of this year 2014, which it said is a record for the company and the market, and would not be possible without the newly opened infrastructure. The Aguascalientes A2 plant is the second Nissan plant built in that city and the third plant overall in Mexico.
The VDC will also support logistics operations at the recently announced strategic cooperation project between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler at a new plant in Aguascalientes, to be built near the Aguascalientes A2 complex. That facility has a planned annual production, at full capacity, of 300,000 vehicles (read more here).