In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of its Smyrna, Tenn. Vehicle Assembly Plant, Nissan Motor Co. ( IW 1000/26) announced last week that it is adding more than 900 manufacturing jobs.
The jobs are being added for the future production of the Nissan Rogue, marking the first time the Rogue has been produced in the United States.
The Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant has grown from a domestic manufacturer to a global one. Last year the plant become home to the country’s largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant supporting production of the 2013 Nissan LEAF.
“I want to congratulate Nissan for their accomplishments over the last 30 years and the tremendous impact their success has had on the state’s economy and the thousands of people they employ,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
Nissan said that it will launch five core-volume models in 15 months in the United States.
The shift of Rogue production to the United States is part of the company’s broader strategy to localize production.
By 2015, Nissan aims to have 85% of its products that are sold in the United States produced in North America.
Nissan has seen U.S. demand for the Rogue, expected to begin production in the fall of 2013, grow from just under 100,000 units in 2010 to 142,000 units in 2012. In May, Rogue sales reached an all-time high of 17,333 units.
Since the first U.S.-assembled vehicle, a white pickup truck, rolled off the assembly line in June 1983, Nissan’s manufacturing footprint has grown steadily. The combination of vehicle assembly plants in Canton, Miss. and Smyrna, Tenn. and a powertrain plant in Decherd, Tenn. have produced more than 12 million vehicles and created more than 14,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States. Production at Nissan’s Smyrna and Canton assembly plants grew by more than 14% in 2012.