Renault-Nissan to build engine plant in Tennessee
Officials from the state of Tennessee and the Renault-Nissan Alliance broke ground May 8 on a new engine manufacturing facility in Dechard, Tenn. The new facility – located at the existing Nissan powertrain assembly complex – will produce Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder gasoline engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models.
"Today, we begin an exciting new chapter for the Renault-Nissan Alliance and our continued investment in the United States," said Mark Swenson, Nissan’s vice president production engineering and component facilities. "Today’s groundbreaking marks the latest move in our collaboration with Daimler to localize production capacity and enhance our competitiveness in the global market."
Production of the new engines will begin in 2014 with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year. At maximum capacity, the new facility is expected to create up to 400 jobs and will be the first location Mercedes-Benz manufactures engines in the North America Free Trade region. The Tennessee plant’s strategic location will ensure a direct supply of engines for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, to be built at Daimler’s vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in 2014.
Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance first announced their strategic collaboration in April 2010 and are extending their reach into the United States as part of both companies’ growth strategy. The companies are also moving forward with a vehicle platform sharing initiative between Infiniti and Mercedes, and development of zero-emission vehicles. The decision to begin jointly producing engines in the U.S. marks the two organizations’ collaborative effort’s largest venture outside of Europe.
– Edited by Chris Vavra, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com