Brand Has Most Productive North American Car & Truck Plants for 2002

DETROIT (June 18, 2003) – Nissan North America’s sprawling manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., once again topped all other car and truck manufacturing plants in automotive manufacturing efficiency in the highly respected Harbour Report North America 2003.

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Nissan: Manufacturing, Smyrna, Tenn.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing in Smyrna, Tenn.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation: Smyrna, Tenn.:

Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation U.S.A. (NMMC) is Nissan's first manufacturing facility in the United States. The 5.1 million-square-foot plant is on a 778-acre site about 20 miles south of Nashville in Smyrna, Tenn. The initial investment was $760 million.

In April 1989, Nissan announced plans for a major expansion of its Smyrna facility to add a third vehicle to its production. The expansion added 1.7 million square feet to the facility and represented an investment of $490 million.


Plant fact sheet (status 2005/6):

  • Investment (Smyrna & Decherd): $2.797 billion

  • Employees: Approximately 6,700 in Smyrna and approximately 1,300 in Decherd, plus 2,800 supplier/contractor employees when both plants are in full production

  • Floor Space: 5.4 million square feet in Smyrna Approximately 1 million square feet in Decherd

  • Production start: June 1983 in Smyrna, May 1997 in Decherd

  • Models produced in Smyrna: Altima midsize sedans, Frontier pickup trucks, Maxima sport sedans, Xterra sport utility vehicles, Pathfinder sport utility vehicles

  • Capacity: Smyrna: 550,000 vehicles, Decherd: 950,000 engines/300,000 transaxles,  Decherd produces 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder engines for all vehicles manufactured in Smyrna and Canton

When Nissan began production in 1983, the company employed 1,736 people. A second shift was added to produce Sentra passenger cars in 1985, increasing employment at the Smyrna facility to 3,000.

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Press Release 2000:

Employees at the recently constructed $30 million Nissan Powertrain Assembly facility in Decherd, Tenn., will produce engines for the 1998 Altima, which currently come from Mexico.

By the spring of 1998, the Decherd facility will double in size due to a $50 million expansion to accommodate production of transaxles for the 1998 Altima and the 1999 Nissan Quest and Mercury Villager minivans.

NMMC's total capital investment in Tennessee is now $1.43 billion dollars.

Production Environment

  • Light trucks/Passenger cars

Capacity was planned for 120,000 vehicles annually. The facility currently produces all light trucks sold by Nissan in the United States and Canada. In March 1985, the company added the production of Sentra passenger cars, boosting total capacity to 250,000 vehicles a year.

In 1992, NMMC added the Altima sedan to its production with an expansion project that brought capacity to 450,000 units annually. In November 1994, the company added the reintroduced 200SX sports coupe to its production lineup.

In 1996, NMMC produced 414,031 vehicles 136,162 light trucks, 105,612 Sentra passenger cars, 30,543 200SX sports coupes and 141,714 Altima sedans.

  • Engines

NMMC began assembling engines for the Sentra in June 1990. The company assembles two variations of the Sentra engine, with a capacity of 158,400 annually. Engine assembly for the Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager minivan began in August 1992. The capacity for the Quest line is 142,400 annually.

  • Axles

Rear axle assembly for trucks began at the Smyrna facility in March 1989. The plant has an axle capacity of 185,640 annually.

  • Bumper fascias

With its major expansion, NMMC increased its fascia production capacity to 375,500 annually and added plastic fuel tank production for the Altima.

  • Nissan/Ford minivan project

NMMC is producing all major body panel metal stampings and closures (door panels, hoods, etc.) for the Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager minivan. Stamping and engine production for the joint project began in 1992. The minivan is assembled by Ford in Avon Lake, Ohio.

  • Altima production line

The production of NMMC's third vehicle, the Altima sedan, began in June 1992. The Altima, a four-door passenger sedan, competes in the midsize sedan segment.


 The most recent expansion project brought NMMC employment to approximately 6,200.

Photos: Nissan

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