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July 03, 2003
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Nissan Adds Pathfinder Production to Smyrna Plant

Popular SUV to Be Built Next Year in Its Largest Market

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nissan announced that the all-new, next generation Nissan Pathfinder premium sport utility vehicle will be built at the Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant beginning in the fall of 2004.

The addition will bring approximately 800 new Nissan jobs at the Smyrna assembly and Decherd powertrain plants. Also, approximately 700 new jobs will be created at the on-site operations of Smyrna and Decherd suppliers and contractors, and additional jobs will ripple through other Nissan suppliers that help build the new product. The company will invest nearly $250 million to accommodate the production shift of the Pathfinder, as well as prepare for upcoming model changes on the Nissan Xterra SUV and Nissan Frontier pick-up truck. This will bring Nissan's total investment in Tennessee to $2.75 billion.


Plant renovations will be minimal, adding only 170,000 additional square feet to Smyrna's current 5.4-million-square-foot plant. The facility's Stamping plant will increase by 90,000 square feet and an additional 80,000 square feet will be added to the company's logistics center. Annual production capacity at Smyrna will increase to 550,000 units and will be divided between two platforms and five models. Altogether, the plant will have the capability to produce up to 300,000 trucks and SUVs and up to 250,000 sedans.

No new building space will be needed at the Decherd plant. Its capacity will be increased to nearly 1 million engines annually. "The additional volume increases the Smyrna plant's flexibility to adjust our production mix to changes in the marketplace," said Emil Hassan, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality and Logistics for Nissan North America.

"Production of the Pathfinder is an appropriate move for the company given our employees' track record of handling the complexities of manufacturing multiple vehicles. It will be a challenge to integrate this all-new SUV into our product mix, along with our upcoming model changes. But I know the Smyrna and Decherd teams are capable of handling the challenges of manufacturing five separate vehicles simultaneously."

Nissan has invested approximately $4.2 billion in its three U.S. manufacturing facilities. At the Smyrna assembly plant, workers currently build Nissan Maxima sports sedans, Nissan Xterra sport-utility vehicles, Nissan Frontier pickup trucks and Nissan Altima midsize sedans. Its Canton, Miss., plant builds the all-new Quest minivan and by mid-2004 will launch the Nissan Titan King Cab and Crew Cab full-size pick-up trucks, the Nissan Pathfinder Armada full-size sport utility vehicle, a full-size SUV for Infiniti and additional Altima sedans. In Decherd, Tenn., Nissan employees machine components and assemble transaxles and all the vehicle engines for both Nissan's U.S. automotive manufacturing plants.

(June 25, 2003)

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