- Helping you drive happy


Nissan today announced that production of a new Nissan Maxima performance sedan will begin at the Nissan North America assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn., in January 2003. This decision will bring the manufacture of its benchmark-setting sedan to its largest market.

The addition of the Maxima to Smyrna is part of Nissan's worldwide aim to build cars and trucks as close as possible to the markets in which they are sold. The strategy will help reduce the company's exposure to currency fluctuations and will contribute to lasting, profitable growth for Nissan globally.

"This move adds one of the strongest brand names in the North American auto industry to our line-up," said Emil Hassan, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality and Logistics. "The Maxima we will build will be an all-new model that will continue the strong legacy of the current model. We are excited to build the Maxima here in this market.

"This decision is good news for our employees in Smyrna and Decherd, of course, but it will also affect dozens of Nissan suppliers whose business will benefit from the increased volume at our plant," added Hassan. "Though suppliers are still confirming their production plans, this program will require many of our suppliers to make additional investments. In Tennessee alone, we estimate that they will invest nearly $50 million and create up to 500 jobs to support Maxima production."

Hassan announced Nissan's production plans at the Tennessee State Capitol. Gov. Don Sundquist welcomed the news of the continuing growth at the Smyrna plant and at supplier companies throughout the state.

"Certainly, I'm pleased to congratulate the work force and management at Nissan on the exciting news of this continuing growth," said Gov. Sundquist. "Nissan's long history of teamwork and efficiency is well known — not just in our state, but throughout the world. The continuing success of the Smyrna and Decherd plants is a tribute to their high-quality work.