Melbourne, Australia – In 1982 Nissan Australia began manufacturing parts at its dedicated casting plant, 35 years later it is still delivering; proving that automotive manufacturing in Australia is still alive and well.
With a production lineage that goes back over 50 years, Nissan first started assembling cars in Sydney in 1966, well before full-line local production began in 1972.
Sitting on 90,000 square metres of prime real estate in south-east Melbourne, the Nissan Casting Plant (NCAP) continues to supply parts long after the 1992 closure of the Clayton-based manufacturing plant.
Employing 192 highly skilled workers, the plant runs three shifts a day, seven days a week making approximately 2.6 million die-cast aluminium parts and over 16,000 tow bars - with an export value of $82.5 million - annually.
Parts are distributed to Renault-Nissan (Alliance) vehicle assembly plants and Nissan affiliate powertrain plants globally – specifically in Japan, the USA, the UK, Thailand, South Korea and Mexico – and supplies companies such as Calsonic Kansei, Aichi Kikai and transmission specialist JATCO, all of which demand the highest possible quality.
"The Nissan Casting Plant, and what we manufacture and export, is critically important to the global business," said Nissan Casting Australia managing director Peter Jones.
"We have exclusive supply contracts awarded by Nissan Global that will keep the plant operating well into the next decade.
"There should be no doubt, Nissan is still a fully integrated OEM car brand in Australia.
"Nissan Casting Australia is defying the belief that automotive manufacturing doesn't have a place in our country. If you want evidence of ‘Made in Australia' you'll find it here."
Experts in high and low-pressure die casting, precision machining, component assembly and accessories manufacturing, NCAP currently creates 60 different parts specific to oil pans, gearbox and final-drive housing, and electric vehicles.
With a unique Kangaroo insignia highlighting ‘Australian Made' components, export parts inevitably return, fitted to Australian-spec vehicles. The Nissan QASHQAI includes a locally built gear carrier and rear cover, the Pathfinder features the oil pan assembly, the Nissan X-TRAIL and Renault Koleos include final drive unit parts, the INFINITI Q50 also gets the gear carrier, while the manual transmission casing on the NAVARA is also made here.
Parts built in Australia are also fitted to many overseas models.
"Australians are driving vehicles that are fitted with Australian-built parts," said Peter Jones.
"In addition to this, our parts feature on over 30 different overseas models from a variety of our brands, including Nissan, Infiniti and Renault.
"This includes the just-released New Nissan LEAF, which includes an EV water jacket Inverter, Inverter cover, Inverter case and Motor Stator Housing that all come directly out of Dandenong. This is significant for Australian manufacturing."
With a global expectation of quality, Nissan has worked with companies like the CSIRO to develop technologies that guarantee the very best in workmanship.
"Our quality department uses the same kind of measuring machines and granite tables used by Formula One teams," said Peter Jones.
"These parts are so precise that they match up exactly with parts made in Japan to a tolerance of 15 microns, less than the diameter of a human hair.
"And it's this precision and quality that has earned us exclusive contracts for the supply of specific parts.
"I'm very proud to say they're part of the reason why we've secured even more business from Nissan Global, some of it exclusive to Nissan Casting Australia."
With plenty of work keeping the Casting plant busy as it heads towards 2025, Nissan continues to invest in its facilities, with millions spent on new and existing equipment, and its people.
"In the last two years we have committed over $11million to NCAP," said Peter Jones.
"This includes investing in specific tooling, and equipment with the most up-to-date technology for new generation Hybrid and EV components.
"This investment was supported by financial grants from the State Government of Victoria, and the Federal Government, both of which understand the importance of continued local manufacturing.
"But we also invest in people. We employee and continually train a highly skilled workforce who are passionate about the brand and dedicated to producing the best."
Managed by Peter Jones since 2014, Nissan, both locally and globally, is committed to the long term future and success of NCAP.
About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of ¥12.19 trillion. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has a global workforce of 247,500 and has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault under the Renault-Nissan Alliance since March 1999. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN
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