Nissan Mexicanas Civac manufacturing plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico, will begin manufacturing and exporting Nissan Versa cars to the United States in the spring, becoming the second North American production source for the popular subcompact vehicles.

Production of Versas, a version of which is called Tiida in other global markets, begins in Cuernavaca in March on the plants new flexible production line. Export begins in April. The additional production at the plant will result in the addition of about 1,500 jobs, bringing total plant employment to nearly 3,500 people. Hiring for the new positions has begun.

The Cuernavaca plant is located 50 miles south of Mexico City. When operations began in 1966, the plant became the first wholly owned Nissan Motor Company Ltd. overseas manufacturing facility. Today, the Cuernavaca plant produces the Nissan Tsuru (B13) and the D21 chassis/light duty truck for the Mexican market, both of which are leaders in their respective segments. The Cuernavaca plant has produced more than 1.4 million units in its 40-year history.

Versa's success in the United States and Nissan Mexicana's commitment have given us a great opportunity to add Cuernavaca's craftsmanship and quality to the project, said Shoichi Miyatani, president and general director, Nissan Mexicana.

Ever since the Versa was introduced in the U.S. market in June 2006, the vehicle has sold briskly, resulting in inventories well below the desired level. Versas currently are produced at Nissan Mexicanas other assembly plant in Aguascalientes.

The Versa is a great car, and our dealers have been asking us for more, said Bill Bosley, Nissan North Americas vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. It is helping drive customers into Nissan showrooms, and were looking forward to increasing its availability.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing.