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Nissan Australia wins $150 million export contract

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Nissan Australia wins $150 million export contract article image
Nissan Australia’s casting plant has won a global tender to manufacture parts of the company’s flagship electric car. The contract is to produce three cast aluminium parts for the inverter box of the battery-powered Leaf model, currently sold in Japan and the USA. The deal will guarantee more than $150 million in export revenue over the next five years, saving 150 jobs at the Dandenong plant Nissan Casting which faced possible closure this year. Dan Thompson, chief executive officer of Nissan Australia, said the manufacturing plant took on significant competition from Thailand, China and Mexico to win the contract. He added the deal proved Australia was becoming a credible player in the "fierce" global automotive manufacturing industry despite tough conditions locally. Nissan secured the tender with the assistance of a $3.5 million grant from the Australian government’s Green Car Innovation Fund. It has been working with the CSIRO and the Centre for Applied Special Technology Co-operative Research Centre to develop a new aluminium casting technology. Thompson credited the breakthrough as one of the lynchpins for winning the contract. "It just blew away a lot of the Japanese engineering and procuring specialists," he said. "It’s the first time this advanced aluminium casting process has been applied commercially in Australia, which marks a new and exciting chapter for automotive manufacturing in Australia as we embark on the future of what is zero emission mobility." The Nissan Leaf will be available in Australia in 2012.

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