Nissan Manufacturing Adding More Jobs in Mississippi
The folks in and around the Nissan Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton, Mississippi, are undoubtedly feeling happy given that yesterday Nissan Americas announce that it will be building the all-new 2013 Nissan Sentra compact car in the 3.5-million square-foot facility.
With the Sentra, which will go into production in the fourth quarter of 2012, and the addition of the Frontier pickup truck and the Xterra SUV in November, there will be about 1,000 jobs created, bringing the workforce to >4,500 people.
The Nissan Canton plant also produces the 2013 Altima, the Armada full-size SUV, Titan full-size pickup, and NV commercial vans.
There are a couple of notable aspects to what’s going on in Canton. One is that the 2013 Sentra will also be produced in the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where it is currently built. Evidentially, (1) the demand for Sentras is anticipated to be high and (2) the workforce in Canton is highly competitive (or one might assume that the plant in Aguascalientes would simply be expanded).
Stated Bill Kruger, vice chairman, Nissan Americas, “The Canton team has proved it can compete and win on a global scale, and it is due to this that we are adding three vehicles to our production roster in Mississippi.”
(The Frontier and Xterra are being moved from the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.)
Second, with the Armada, Titan, Xterra, Frontier, and NV, the Canton plant will be Nissan’s global center of excellence for body-on-frame vehicles. Note well global.
It is also interesting to recognize that the Canton plant will be building everything from a compact car to vehicles that can carry (more or less) compact cars. That speaks to tremendous manufacturing flexibility.
Paul Spadafora, chief engineer, Cadillac XT5, had, in his estimation, a fantastic opportunity as he and his team set about to develop Cadillac’s all-new midsize crossover vehicle for a number of reasons, one of which is the simple fact that this is one of the hottest segments going in the auto industry, so if you want to be in the game, you have to play hard against the likes of the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLE-Class.
Imagine having an idea that is transformed without a whole lot of modification into a series of cars rolling off the assembly line. BMW's Anders Warming is one of the few who have had that experience.
Several years back, one of the authors visited a major North American assembly plant engaged in the launch of a new vehicle program. A "ramp-up" schedule was prominently displayed on a bulletin board deep in the heart of the plant. The schedule indicated that the day of the visit was the same day the plant was originally planned to achieve full capacity production of its new product. Yet the plant was actually producing only a few units an hour! The assembly plant's tardiness is certainly not uncommon, but did contribute to our interest in the wide range in vehicle launch performance across major vehicle firms.