Nissan To Produce Pathfinder In Tennessee

By Agence France-Presse Japanese automaker Nissan said June 26 it will shift production of its Pathfinder sport utility vehicle to the United States from Japan where demand has fallen, creating about 1,500 new jobs. The firm, 44.4%-owned by Renault of France, will invest about US$250 million on the move as well as on preparing for model changes to a second SUV and the Frontier pick-up truck. The Pathfinder was built at a plant in Kyushu, southern Japan, but was due a face-lift and the new model would only be made in the United States, a company spokesman said. Demand for the vehicle in Japan has waned, but it is still strong in the U.S. market, he added. A Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. factory in Smyrna, Tenn., will start making a new version of the Pathfinder in fall 2004. The move will create 800 new jobs at factories in Smyrna and Decherd, Tenn., while another 700 positions will open up at contractors and suppliers to the plants. Annual production capacity of the Smyrna plant would rise to 550,000 vehicles from 500,000, the firm said. The Decherd plant's production capacity will expand to 1 million engines annually from 900,000 units. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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