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Nissan and Daimler to produce engines together

Tennessee plant to produce four-cylinder engines


January 9, 2012
by Canadian Automotive Review staff

DETROIT: In the latest step forward in the collaboration of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler, Nissan’s Decherd, Tennessee, plant will build Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz starting in 2014.

Nissan and Daimler will produce Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder gasoline engines together at Nissan’s powertrain assembly plant in Decherd, Tennessee. Production will begin in 2014, with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year once full ramp-up is achieved. The Decherd facility will produce engines for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.

“This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign exchange rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America—a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler.”

The collaboration marks the first production of Mercedes-Benz engines in the North America Free Trade region. The Tennessee plant’s strategic location and logistics links ensure a direct supply of engines starting in 2014 for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, built at Daimler’s vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“Through the strategic extension of our cooperation with Renault-Nissan we can realize near-market engine production in the NAFTA region on attractive economic terms and make optimum use of synergies arising from the cooperation,” Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said. “Thus we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in this important growth market.”

Nissan began powertrain assembly in Decherd in 1997. Today it manufactures four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines for the complete lineup of US-produced Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. The plant also houses crankshaft forging and cylinder block casting operations. In 2011, Decherd produced more than 580,000 engines on a covered area of more than 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square meters).