FRANKLIN, TN-Nissan Americas today announced that Atsuhiko Hayakawa, currently vice president and general manager of Nissan's manufacturing operations in Yokohama, Japan, has been named vice president, Manufacturing Operations, Nissan Brazil, effective Jan. 1, 2012. In his new role, Hayakawa will oversee the new production facility Nissan will build in Resende, in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, which was announced last month. He will report to Bill Krueger, vice chairman, Nissan Americas, and Hidetoshi Imazu, executive vice president, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

"Hayakawa-san's Nissan career has perfectly prepared him to launch our Resende plant," said Krueger. "In his current role at our production site in Yokohama, he has led his team to benchmark-level quality, cost and time performance. As we continue to strengthen Nissan's presence in Brazil, we expect to benefit significantly from Hayakawa-san's manufacturing expertise and strong management skills."

Hayakawa joined Nissan in 1982 and, since then, has held positions of increasing responsibility in engine and production engineering, and production management, including an assignment at Nissan Mexicana from 1994 through 1997. From 2004 to 2006, he was a Powertrain program director with responsibility for V6/V8 engines used in models such as the Infiniti G and Nissan Titan, including the VQ engine that was named toWard's 10 Best Engineslist for 14 consecutive years. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Waseda University.

Nissan's Resende facility, scheduled to begin production in the first half of 2014, will have the capacity to produce 200,000 units annually of Nissan's 'V' platform products and will directly create up to 2,000 jobs. The new plant is anticipated to become a key enabler of Nissan's growth strategy for fast-growing BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets and expands on Nissan's current capacity in the state of Parana. That existing facility will continue to produce Nissan Livina and Frontier models.