Uncertain Future for Nissan Production in Tennessee Sparks Concerns and Speculations

Feb 02, 2024 at 11:03 am by WGNS News

Background photo of Nissan, captured by plane

Smyrna, TN - Since its inception in 1983, the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, has played a crucial role in the automotive history of both Rutherford County and the Japanese manufacturer. However, recent developments are stirring concerns as Nissan explores cost-saving measures, raising questions about the future of production in the state.


Nissan, which originally made the single largest foreign investment on American soil by a Japanese corporation when establishing its Smyrna plant in the 1980's, is now contemplating changes to adapt to the evolving automotive landscape. A recent article on MarkLines.com, an online automotive industry publication, revealed that Nissan is considering cost-cutting measures, including seeking significant discounts from suppliers.

According to the January 2024 article, Nissan has asked suppliers for discounts averaging 20%, with some suppliers being pressured to make even deeper cuts of up to 30%. These cost-saving initiatives are reportedly tied to the preparation for the fourth-generation Nissan Rogue, a popular small SUV. Suppliers were informed that if substantial cost reductions are not achieved, Nissan may consider relocating Rogue production out of Tennessee entirely, potentially moving it back to Japan.

The uncertainty surrounding the future of Nissan's production in Tennessee adds an element of concern for both suppliers and employees. The automaker is expected to release further details on its plans later this month, shedding light on the direction it will take in 2024.

In addition to the potential changes to the Nissan Rogue production, the company is also signaling a shift for its all-electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf. After being produced at the Smyrna plant for the past 11 years, the next-generation Leaf is slated to be manufactured in Sunderland, England. Nissan has not disclosed details about the export destinations for the future iterations of the Leaf.

As stakeholders await Nissan's official announcement, which suppliers are expected to hear later this month, the automotive community and local residents are keenly observing how these potential shifts will impact the historic Smyrna plant and the automotive legacy it has built over the decades.


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