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Nissan and Daimler recently announced that they will produce Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder gasoline engines together at Nissan’s powertrain assembly plant in Decherd, Tenn. Production will begin in 2014, with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year.
“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, Ala.
“In the context of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy, we have decided that we will expand the production capacities required for this close to the customers,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars. “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. 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 U.S.-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.
Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance launched their strategic collaboration in April 2010, including an equity exchange that gives the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1-percent stake in Daimler and Daimler a combined 3.1-percent interest in Renault and Nissan. For more information, visit www.nissanusa.com.