Nissan's Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant continues its reign as the top-producing automotive plant in North America, as Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd joined plant employees to celebrate the start of production for the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima.
"When Nissan came to Tennessee more than 30 years ago, there were almost no auto jobs in the state," said Alexander. "Three decades later, about one-third of our manufacturing jobs are auto related, auto suppliers have located in 80 counties, and our family incomes are higher. I want to thank Nissan for providing opportunities for thousands of talented Tennesseans."
The first U.S.-assembled Maxima rolled off the assembly line in Smyrna in January 2003. Since then, Nissan has produced nearly 800,000 Maxima sedans at the plant, with more than 60,000 shipped to markets worldwide. Maxima is one of six models currently built at the Smyrna plant and is assembled on the same line as the Altima midsize sedan and all-electric Nissan LEAF. Maxima's new 3.5-liter, VQ-series V6 engine is also assembled in Tennessee at Nissan's Decherd Powertrain Plant.
"With today's launch, Nissan and Tennessee begin another chapter in their long and successful partnership defined by high quality vehicles and the innovation of its workforce," said Haslam. "We want to thank Nissan for continuing to invest here, helping build Tennessee's reputation as a leading automotive manufacturing state."
The eighth generation of Nissan's iconic "4-Door Sports Car" combines 300-horsepower performance with a bold exterior design, premium interior cockpit and an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Warning. It also features Nissan's new Driver Attention Alert system, which monitors steering input patterns to help alert the driver when drowsy or inattentive driving is detected. The 2016 Maxima will be available at U.S. Nissan dealerships this summer.
"Today's launch of the all-new Maxima is the beginning of an exciting year for Nissan's U.S. line-up, with new versions of the Altima, Sentra and TITAN due later this year," said John Martin, Nissan's senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing. "New models produced at our U.S. plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi helped to propel Nissan to nearly 1.4 million sales in the U.S. in 2014, and vehicles like the all-new Maxima will help us eclipse that record this year."
The Nissan Smyrna Plant began operations in 1983 and employs more than 8,400 people. In 2014, the Smyrna plant assembled more than 648,000 vehicles, making it the highest-producing automotive assembly plant in North America. Smyrna employees currently build the award-winning Altima, Maxima, all-electric LEAF, Rogue crossover, Pathfinder SUV and Infiniti QX60 luxury crossover.