Nissan Motor Co. said Monday it will invest about $100 million by 2010 to expand its operations in Egypt and make that country the automaker’s industrial base for the Middle East and North African regions.

Nissan, which has been producing pickups near Cairo through a local manufacturing company since 1997, will buy out the assets of the existing manufacturing operation located at 6th October Industrial City, company officials said.

Nissan will invest $60 million during 2004 and 2005. It eventually aims to introduce new models — both locally built and imported — into the Egyptian market and use Egypt as a competitive export base for neighboring markets, they said.

In Egypt, Nissan currently sells locally assembled pickups and imports the Sunny sedan from Japan.

It plans to start production of cars and sport utility and commercial vehicles in Egypt, launching local assembly of the Sunny sedan in summer 2005 followed by the X-Trail SUV.

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