Nissan wants to build more of its U.S.-bound products on American soil, and it will start by building the recently announced Infiniti JX crossover here from 2012. The JX, which goes on sale in spring 2012, is to be produced at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Following the arrival of the JX, Nissan will begin production of the Nissan Leaf at Smyrna in late-2012, and the next-generation Rogue by 2013. The Smyrna plant, which opened in 1983, currently builds the Nissan Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Frontier, and Pathfinder. To make way for the three new vehicles at Smyrna, assembly of the Xterra SUV and Frontier pickup will be relocated to a Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.
Additionally, by fall 2012 Nissan plans to open a new facility in Tennessee to produce lithium-ion batteries for the Leaf.
Last year, Nissan built 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S., and today’s announcement should help the company increase that number to 1.7 million vehicles over the next few years. Executives hope that by 2015, 85 percent of Nissans and Infinitis sold in the U.S. will be built in American factories, up from the current level of 69 percent.