Nissan revealed this week that they will start U.S. assembly of the 2013 Leaf electric vehicles at their manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The vehicle will be manufactured with the company's gasoline-powered products.
The announcement comes right after the company opened their battery plant, which is set to be the largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant in the U.S. Nissan is the only automotive manufacturer to make its own electric vehicle batteries.
"Bringing assembly of the innovative 2013 Nissan LEAF to our award-winning manufacturing plant speaks to the flexibility, efficiency and talent of our U.S. workforce," said Susan Brennan , Nissan's vice president of manufacturing in Smyrna according to the Nissan press release. "Nissan has a 30-year history of building quality vehicles in Smyrna, and just like every vehicle we produce, the LEAF has met or exceeded every one of our rigorous quality requirements."
While the Leaf is a unique vehicle in itself, its assembly is similar to other Nissan vehicles like the Maxima and the Altima. Both models share an assembly line according to Nissan.
Leaf assembly in Smyrna will help Nissan get closer to their goal of manufacturing 85 percent of all U.S. sales in North America by 2015. The company feels that by having more U.S. made products, they'll be able to "reduce exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency" according to the Nissan press release.
Click here to read more about the Leaf battery plant.
"The Nissan LEAF has expanded beyond early adopters and is now appealing to a broad spectrum of consumers." said Brian Carolin, Nissan's senior vice president of sales and marketing according to the Nissan press release. "Since we launched the LEAF in 2010, we've learned that people are very attracted to the advanced technology and other amenities, but they are also looking for a more affordable price point."