Work is back on at Nissan’s Leaf construction complex located on Smyrna Tennessee. Construction of the complex had been interrupted due the March 11th quake in Japan, but work has resumed and currently teams are working around the clock to have the complex open and ready to manufacture by late 2012.
Bill Krueger the head of Nissan’s manufacturing and supply chain management has this to say in regard to the plant;
We’re still targeting to launch on time. It’s too early to give up on meeting our original timing. We have just shy of a year and a half to make it up. We had people over there training when the lights went out. Production didn’t happen for a month. That drove the training curve back. We’re looking at work-arounds to try to accelerate the schedule now.
Nissan claims that the Tennessee plant will be able to turn out around 150,000 Leafs annually from the Smyrna complex. However, recent reports have brought into question what vehicles will indeed be built in Smyrna. Originally the plant was designed to produce the EV Nissan Leaf, and while some Leafs will be build at the plant, it seems that the bulk of manufacturing will be the new Nissan Versa.
The Nissan Versa is a small economy class vehicle with a base price of around $11,750 U.S. Dollars. The EPA rates the continuous variable transmission Versa sedan at 30/38 miles per gallon city/highway. The stick shift model comes in at 27/36 mpg.
It should come as no surprise that the Versa and Leaf will be built right next to each other. After all, the underlying architecture of both cars is the same, and will likely continue that way in the coming years. In addition to up to 150,000 Nissan Leafs, the Smyrna facility will also be able to crank out up to 200,000 battery modules every year…once supply lines shaken by the earthquake/tsunami are restored to full operational capacity, and that could take many months yet.
But once the Tennessee plant does go online, Nissan will be able to crank out EV’s en masse. Then all they have to do is sell them.
Source: Automotive News
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.