YOKOHAMA - Nissan is investing 33 billion yen (R4.4bn) in its flagship factory in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture in the first rollout of a production system geared toward electric vehicles.
Nissan Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto said on Thursday that manufacturing methods must change because vehicles increasingly have both hybrid and electric engines and new parts for connectivity and artificial intelligence services.
Sakamoto said the production changes, set to be completed next year, use robotics and sensors to decrease physical stress on assembly-line workers. They are tailored for a workforce increasingly manned by senior workers and women.
Among the innovations for Nissan’s so-called “intelligent factory” is a powertrain mounting system that allows at least 27 configurations to be installed in one procedure.
The parts, including the battery for electric vehicles, are put together on one “pallet,” or foundation unit, for easier installing into the vehicle.