Nissan – Infiniti Bringing MORE Jobs To The US

MYRNA — Nissan’s first $40,000-plus luxury Infiniti JX crossover rolled off the assembly line here at midday Monday, but that’s just the start of a giant boost from the Asian carmaker’s plant over the next year.

Total employment at the Smyrna plant could be pushing 6,000 workers — nearly double its current level — by early next year as workers build two new crossover utility vehicles plus batteries and eventually the Leaf electric car here.

Nissan said 1,000 jobs would be filled over the next year to staff a second shift on the plant’s truck line to assemble the JX, the first of which was shown Monday, and a redesigned Nissan Pathfinder crossover that comes later this year.

In addition, about 1,300 workers will be hired to make lithium-ion batteries for the Nissan Leaf electric car and to add Leaf production to the Smyrna plant in early 2013, the company said earlier. The plant currently employs 3,500 workers.

The battery facility is adjacent to the assembly plant and is nearing completion.

The first sellable JX came off the assembly line Monday and was showered with confetti during a 30-minute ceremony to mark production of the first luxury vehicle to be built at the plant since it opened 29 years ago.

It’s also the first luxury vehicle built in Tennessee, which has a long history in auto manufacturing, including General Motors’ work in Spring Hill and the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga as well as dozens of parts suppliers.

“This launch is second in importance only to the original launch (of the Nissan compact pickup) in 1983,” said Mark Swenson, vice president of production engineering for Nissan Americas.


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