Locations -- Canton, Miss.
Nissan decision to locate in Mississippi fueled by initiative to build close to customer.
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is building a $930 million vehicle manufacturing plant in Canton, Miss., that will encompass 2.6 million square feet and produce about 250,000 units annually. Three vehicles will be produced at this facility -- a full-size pickup truck, a full-size sport-utility vehicle and a newly designed minivan. Production is slated to begin in mid-2003. The plant initially will employ 3,300 workers. Corporate Strategy
The Tokyo-based automaker's decision to build a facility in Mississippi was fueled in part by a corporate initiative to build vehicles as close to customers as possible in order to increase responsiveness to the market, reduce costs and decrease exposure to currency fluctuations. Nissan Motor Co. President Carlos Ghosn says the Mississippi plant's products will help the company meet its objectives of offering vehicles in all major U.S. automotive market segments. "Building the right products in the right markets is a basic ingredient to create a foundation for solid profitable growth," Ghosn says. Nissan received financial incentives at both the state and local levels to locate its new facility in Canton. The automotive manufacturer says a supportive business climate, as well as proximity to Nissan's Tennessee production facilities in Smyrna and Decherd, the availability of a high-quality workforce and land availability were factors in Canton's favor when the final site selection was made. Production Strategy
Nissan's production strategy includes having suppliers build modules and components in the same sequence as the vehicles are produced on the production line. In increasing numbers, suppliers and support services also are locating plants adjacent to, or near, the new Nissan plant. By late November 2001, Nissan had announced the intention of nearly a dozen suppliers to build new plants, as well as the development of a supplier logistics center and formation of a transportation services company. Community
Canton, located in central Mississippi, is 20 miles north of the state's capital city of Jackson and is the county seat of Madison County. The population of this small southern town is about 12,200; Madison County is home to some 74,000 residents. Antebellum and turn-of-the-century homes line many streets and twice yearly the Canton Flea Market attracts some 50,000 visitors. Higher education facilities are plentiful in the area. They include Holmes Community College in nearby Ridgeland, Miss., and the University of Mississippi in Jackson. Several schools will receive funds to provide workforce training in connection with the new Nissan plant. The Canadian National-Illinois Central Railroad runs in a north-south route through Madison County and will be used extensively by Nissan to move vehicles and supplies. Locations profiles selected siting and facility strategies by manufacturing companies. Send submissions for Locations to Senior Editor John S. McClenahen at [email protected]