Things are looking good for the Smyrna, Tennessee area where Nissan has one of the world's largest automotive production plants. The facility is looking at yet another expansion, this time nearby for a supplier park to encourage the company's supply chain to become more local to its production. The park is a $160 million project that is expected to bring about 1,000 new jobs to the area.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd were on hand to make the announcement alongside Jose Munoz, Executive VP, Nissan Motor Co and Chairman of the Management Committee for Nissan North America. The project is spearheaded by John Martin, Senior VP of Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing at Nissan North America.
"Today marks an exciting new chapter in our more than 31-year partnership with the State of Tennessee as we continue our localization and investment efforts in the United States," Muñoz said. "This project is a key component to the long-term sustainability of our U.S. business as we close in on a goal of 10 percent U.S. market share."
The project's plans call for construction of an integrated logistics center that will be located on Nissan's Smyrna campus. The facility will be more than 1.5 million square feet in size and will serve as an immediate space for suppliers and support operations to include inbound production parts and returnable containers. This will be the "main hub" of operations for Nissan's logistics at Smyrna.
Nissan's goal is to have higher regional and local parts use in its American production. About 85 percent of the vehicles Nissan sells in the United States are made in North America, primarily at Nissan's Tennessee and Mississippi facilities. The Smyrna plant opened for operations in 1983 and currently employs more than 8,400 people. It produced 648,000 vehicles in 2014, becoming the largest automotive assembly plant (by volume) in not just the U.S., but all of North America. Smyrna builds vehicles ranging from the Maxima sedan to the electric LEAF and the Pathfinder SUV.