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Nissan Rapidly Boosting US Production

Launch of new Murano bringing local production to 85%.

by on Dec.05, 2014

Jose Munoz, the CEO of Nissan North America, with the third-generation, 2015 Murano.

For its part, Nissan operates two major assembly plants in the U.S. The biggest is in Smyrna, Tennessee, a plant capable of producing up to 650,000 vehicles annually, and employing 8,000 hourly workers. The mile long factory produces the midsize Altima and the Leaf battery-electric vehicle, among other models.

About 400 miles to the southwest, Nissan’s plant in Canton, Mississippi employs another 6,000 blue-collar workers. While production is lower than at Smyrna, the Canton factory is one of the most flexible in the American market, capable of production eight different models, including both car-like unibody vehicles, such as the Murano, and frame-based trucks.

As the first of Nissan’s new third-generation Murano crossovers roll into showrooms this month, buyers will find a lighter, more stylish and more fuel-efficient vehicle. But what only a few are likely to notice is that the new model also will be made in the U.S.

Nissan’s big assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi has become the new, global production base for the 2015 Murano – which until now had rolled off a Nissan line in Kyushu, Japan.

Insight!

“We want to localize more of everything we do,” noted Pierre Loing, the head of product planning for Nissan North America.

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Nissan Likely to Expand Production in U.S.

But Mexico quickly becoming maker’s major export hub, says Ghosn.

by on Nov.13, 2013

Nissan CEO Ghosn dedicates the maker's new $2 billion plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Despite spending billions to open new plants in both Brazil and Mexico, Nissan Motor Co. will continue investing in its U.S. automotive manufacturing operations, stressed the maker’s CEO.

But where plants in Tennessee and Mississippi will largely focus on local demand in the United States, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Mexico is rapidly becoming not only its primary export hub in the Americas but likely will soon become a largest export base than Nissan plants back in Japan.

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“If you ask me if you will see future expansion in the United States for the U.S. market, the answer is yes,” said Ghosn during a media roundtable in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he attended the formal dedication of Nissan’s new, $2 billion assembly complex.

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Nissan Resonance Concept Previews Next-Gen Murano CUV

by on Jan.15, 2013

Expect many of the Nissan Resonance design cues to return with the next-gen Murano.

At a time when most manufacturers tried to disguise their early crossovers to look like conventional sport-utility vehicles, Nissan took a decidedly different direction, creating the expressively styled Murano.

So, with more and more makers moving in that direction as the classic SUV fades from the market, how does Nissan stay ahead of the crowd? What it describes as the “envelope-pushing” Resonance Concept gives us a good idea.  The show car’s “boldly futuristic styling” is a tease of what will become the next-generation Nissan Murano which was last restyled in 2009.

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As with the original crossover, the Japanese maker is putting a premium on design, though the Nissan Resonance Concept also features a hybrid powertrain that will be offered as an option on the upcoming Murano replacement. As is often the case with concepts, the Resonance features a number of other innovative technologies, as well.

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Coming to America: Nissan’s Next-Gen Murano

Based on Resonance Concept, crossover will shift to U.S. plant.

by on Jan.10, 2013

The Canton plant will soon produce eight different models. Ot launched the new Altima just last year.

Expect some big changes when the next Nissan Murano crossover comes to market in 2014.

For one thing, the midsize CUV will sport an all-new body based on the Nissan Resonance Concept debuting at next week’s North American International Auto Show.  And, for the first time, it’s expected to be paired with an optional hybrid powertrain – one of 16 gas-electric models the Japanese maker intends to launch by 2016.

But the next-gen Murano also will start rolling out of Nissan’s big assembly plan in Canton, Mississippi. It will become the eighth product produced at the plant, which is just celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Uniquely designed!

“As we look back on ten years of manufacturing in Canton, it’s become clear throughout the Nissan network that ‘Made in Mississippi’ is a stamp of quality and great people,” said Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas. “With the addition of this new model in Canton, Nissan is well on its way toward meeting our goal to manufacture 85% of the vehicles we sell in the U.S. right here in North America.”

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New Nissan Altima is an “All-American” Car

Japanese maker turns to North American suppliers for 98% of content.

by on May.16, 2012

Nissan reveals the redesigned Altima sedan.

What is an “American” car? That’s become increasingly difficult to define in an era when most major international automakers operate at least one U.S. assembly plant – while cars bearing a Detroit nameplate might come from a plant in Korea.

With much of the design and engineering work done in the U.S. – and 98% of its content supplied by North American suppliers, Nissan insists the 2013 Altima is about as American as you can get.

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“We’ve been moving in this direction for some time,” said Nissan Americas Vice Chairman Bill Krueger following the “Job One” rollout of the first saleable Altima.

Nissan, he noted, has been steadily increasing the number of products it builds in the U.S. and Mexico, in large part driven by the strong yen.  And “We’ve been localizing (the parts used in those vehicles) at a faster rate,” he said.

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Nissan’s North American Plants Outproducing Toyota, Honda

Maker admits needing more capacity in U.S., Mexico.

by on Jul.20, 2011

The first truck rolls off the line at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant in 2003.

Its sales may lag well behind industry giant Toyota, but Nissan North America is now out-producing the transplant operations run by its rival.

In fact, Nissan’s four assembly lines in the U.S. and Mexico turned out more cars, trucks and crossovers than any other transplant network during the first half of 2011 – and will likely need to undergo a major expansion in the near future, company officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com.

Through the end of June, Nissan produced 565,730 vehicles at those four North American plants.  Significantly, that was a 9.1% increase over year-earlier levels despite the interruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that tattered much of the automotive supplier network based in Northeast Japan.

News you can use!

Toyota saw production fall 28% during the first half, to 555,972 vehicles, while third-ranked Honda’s North American production network reported a 20.8% drop, to 516,603 cars, trucks and crossovers.

“They did a lot better job” at Nissan overcoming the parts shortages that were created by the March disaster, says Aaron Bragman, automotive analyst with the consulting firm IHS.

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