The partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler reached a milestone today when Tennessee officials joined Nissan leadership to break ground on a new manufacturing facility in Decherd, Tenn. The new facility – located at the existing Nissan powertrain assembly complex – will produce Mercedes-Benz 4-cyl. gasoline engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models.
Senior Vice President Research & Development, Nissan Americas Carla Bailo and Vice President Production Engineering and Component Facilities Mark Swenson joined local officials to mark the start of construction on this significant project.
“Today, we begin an exciting new chapter for the Renault-Nissan Alliance and our continued investment in the United States,” Swenson said. “Today’s groundbreaking marks the latest move in our collaboration with Daimler to localize production capacity and enhance our competitiveness in the global market.”
Production of the new engines will begin in 2014 with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year. At maximum capacity, the new facility is expected to create up to 400 jobs and will be the first location Mercedes-Benz manufactures engines in the North America Free Trade region. The Tennessee plant’s strategic location will ensure a direct supply of engines for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, to be built at Daimler’s vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (as of 2014).
Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance first announced their strategic collaboration in April 2010 and are extending their reach into the United States as part of both companies’ growth strategy. The companies are also moving forward with a vehicle platform sharing initiative between Infiniti and Mercedes, and development of zero-emission vehicles. The decision to begin jointly producing engines in the U.S. marks the two organizations’ collaborative effort’s largest venture outside of Europe.
Nissan began powertrain assembly in Decherd in 1997. Today, it manufactures 4-,6- and 8-cylinder engines for the complete lineup of U.S.-produced Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. The plant also houses crankshaft forging and cylinder block casting operations. In 2011, Decherd produced more than 580,000 engines on a covered area of more than 1.2 million square feet.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.