Nissan and Daimler will produce Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder petrol engines together at Nissan’s powertrain assembly plant in Decherd, Tennessee. It is the latest stage of the collaboration between the two companies.
Production will begin in 2014, with 250,000 units being produced per year once full capacity is achieved.
‘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.
‘Localised 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, Alaska.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: ’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.
‘Through the strategic extension of our cooperation with Renault-Nissan we can realise 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 line-up 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.