More than perhaps any other Japanese automaker, Nissan has embraced globalization through regionalizing its operations. The company, once one of the Japanese giants, now has more non-Japanese executives and larger regional operations than almost any other Japanese nameplate. Led by CEO Carlos Ghosn and a new ideal of global operations, the company is growing everywhere but its former home of Japan.
In calendar year 2014, Nissan saw its Japanese production decline by 8.7 percent to less than a million units whereas production outside of Japan rose by 5.8 percent to over four million units. In the United States, production jumped nearly 20 percent (19.6) to just shy of a million vehicles, a record for the company whose Smyrna, Tennessee production facilities is one of the largest in the world.
Although production dropped in the United Kingdom, it was by less than half a percentage point, still holding at over half a million units. In Spain, however, production grew by seven percent to over 140,000 units and other regions globally grew by 2.1 percent to nearly 650,000 units. Chinese production dropped slightly, but remained bullish at 1.18 million units.
This means global production, on the whole, increased by about three percent for 2014 with over 5 million units built (another record for Nissan). Sales were up by a bit more than that at a 4.1 percent growth rate globally, with U.S. sales jumping by over 11 percent and Mexico and Europe both seeing market share and sales growth of 10.9 and 13.4 percent respectively. Sales also increased slightly in China.
What all of this means is that production in Japan is falling and Nissan's exports from Japan in 2014 dropped by almost 13 percent year-on-year.